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Fines for waste firm on old airfield site

The operators of a Cornish waste company have been fined and ordered to pay costs totalling £1,000 for breaches of environmental permits.

St Eval Recycling Company’s site on a former RAF airfield has had its environmental permit revoked, meaning it can no longer operate as a waste facility, following the case brought by the Environment Agency (EA).

Operators Christopher and Karen Prynn were sentenced at Bodmin Magistrates Court on 13 May after pleading guilty to four offences of breaching environmental regulations at a previous hearing.

These breaches included failing to comply with permit conditions, failing to comply with an enforcement notice and failing to remove waste from the site once the permit had been revoked. They were both fined £200 and each ordered to pay £300 costs.

An environmental permit was issued to the pair to allow them to operate a household, commercial and industrial waste transfer station on St Eval Airfield Farm.

Waste built up at the site and, in 2015, enforcement notices were served by the EA to ensure volumes were reduced to manageable levels allowed by the permit. The agency said the operators did not take sufficient action and the amount was not reduced.

The EA suspended their permit in July for non-payment of fees totalling £11,679.11. The permit has since been revoked under operator competence grounds.

Bodmin Magistrates said they “wanted to make it clear that the penalty being imposed does not affect the negligence or the impact of the offending on the environment or community. If you did have more money, the penalty would be substantially more”, the agency reported.

The court refused an EA request to order the operators to remove the waste left on-site.

Clarissa Newell, for the EA, said: “Despite being warned about non-compliance and an enforcement notice, St Eval Recycling failed to respond to our requests. This prosecution shows that we take our responsibilities seriously and will not hesitate to prosecute if necessary.”

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