The Environment Agency (EA) has prosecuted a company that admitted tipping scores of lorry loads of building waste and rubble near the river Medway near Rochester, Kent.
In July 2013, EA officers discovered that Fastrac Contractors and Utilities Limited, of Cuxton Industrial Estate, was dumping waste at a site without an environmental permit.
Fastrac company director Paul Davies admitted tipping 80 loads of waste at the site, and the company was issued with a notice to cease until it acquired the correct licence.
But a further investigation in November 2013 revealed that 47 more lorry loads of waste had been deposited at the site and that no steps had been taken to obtain the correct documentation.
Davies initially denied that his firm had done anything wrong, but later admitted dumping nine loads at the site and that an offence had been committed.
The case was heard at Sevenoaks magistrates court. In the absence of a company representative, Fastrac was found guilty and fined £40,000. It was also ordered to pay costs of £1,650.
During sentencing, magistrates said Fastrac had acknowledged that the “continued tipping had been a deliberate act and that there had been a risk of harm to the environment”.
A second company, Bennett Grab Services, of Burleigh Sole Street, Cobham, was also prosecuted at Sevenoaks magistrates court after it admitted dumping soil at the same site.
Bennett Grab Services pleaded guilty and was fined £2,000, in addition to costs of £404.
EA environment manager Alan Cansdale said: “The illegally tipped waste in Cuxton compromised the flood plain around the river Medway.
“Without an environmental permit application, no assessment had been made regarding the impact of deposits in this area of flood plain and the potential to exacerbate flooding elsewhere.
“In cases like this, where individuals or businesses operate illegally, the Environment Agency has no hesitation in prosecuting.”