A scrap metal firm in Tyne and Wear has been fined £3,000 for air pollution.
J&J Stanley Ltd was sentenced by Newcastle Magistrates following an emission of chemical fumes from its site on Longrigg Road, Swalwell, two years ago.
Strong chemical odours forced the police to close roads and affected local businesses.
The Environment Agency (EA) tracked the source of the smell to a 10-tonne pile of aluminium waste, a recyclable residue known as dross, which had been deposited in the company’s yard. It is believed that rain falling on the uncovered pile may have started the chemical reaction which produced the odour.
J&J Stanley admitted an offence of depositing controlled waste in a manner likely to cause pollution or harm to human health.
In addition to the fine, the firm was ordered to pay £3,015.10 in costs and a victim surcharge of £120.
Sophie Webster, environment management team leader at the EA, said: “The emission of the fumes affected residents and businesses, and the emergency services spent valuable time and effort responding to the incident to ensure that people were not put at risk.
J&J Stanely’s poor handling of its waste aluminium was the cause of the pollution, and as such this incident could have been avoided, had appropriate procedures been followed.”