A Sheffield-based company and its company secretary were in court last week for illegally storing scrap cars on the banks of the River Don.
AC Independent Car Dismantlers and company secretary Janet Jennings were charged with treating and keeping controlled waste on land without a waste management licence and in a manner likely to cause pollution of the environment.
After pleading guilty the company was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay the Environment Agency's full costs of £1,623. Jennings also pleaded guilty and was given a 12-month conditional discharge.
The court heard that six cars were found on the company's site on Effingham Road in October 2004, still containing brake fluid, oil, power steering fluid and coolant. Four more cars containing potentially polluting substances, were found metres from the River Don.
Ben Reid, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, told Sheffield Magistrates Court that Jennings was known to the Environment Agency, had worked for several other companies in Sheffield that dealt with scrap cars, and knew the legal requirements needed to keep and dismantle scrap cars.
Jennings admitted the company knew a waste management licence would be needed to operate legally but said it thought the site was covered by a waste management licence in the landlord's name. She said the company had no idea who owned the riverbank.
Legislation that came into effect in November 2003 stipulates that all scrap cars need to have all potentially polluting substances taken out of them before they are dismantled. This includes engine oil, oil filters, brake fluid, power steering fluid and coolant.