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EA targets water pollution from construction sites

Guidance to reduce construction waste pollution incidents have been published by the Environment Agency (EA). Construction site waste management plans are cited as one way to reduce construction pollution of water courses. The guidance refers to pollution from silt, oil and chemical spills.

The EA said that poor waste management can also have a major impact. An example of this would be improper storage of hazardous wastes like oils and solvents, which could lead to them escaping into water. A spokesman for the EA added: Construction wastes entering the water course can cause blockages which also bring a flood risk.

This guidance follows on from findings in the EA annual Spotlight Environmental Report 2006, published in July 2007. EA technical advisor Steve Wenham said: In 2006 the construction and demolition industry was responsible for 271 pollution incidents causing environmental damage, of which 123 were to water. Of these, 18 incidents were serious causing significant damage to watercourses. These incidents are not only damaging to our environment, but it can leave the responsible company with an expensive clean up bill. Under the law those who pollute our environment have to pay the clean up costs.

Where there has been serious pollution, the EA will prosecute which can lead to heavy fines.

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