A paper recycling company has successfully overturned a court ruling it deliberately falsified a required Environment Agency record.
St Regis Paper Company appealed a verdict at Exeter Crown Court that it had altered records relating to the operations of Higher Kings Mill, Devon, which was sold by the company in September.
“We are delighted that the Court of Appeal has found in our favour,” said managing director Chris Rosser. “We take our environmental responsibilities very seriously and have always strongly refuted the allegations.
“As a company we are committed to ensuring that our environmental performance is continually improving and we look forward to maintaining a close working relationship with the Environment Agency.”
As MRW originally reported, the company was found guilty in 2010 of misleading the EA over the quality of effluent discharged from its mill into a local river. An employee was also found guilty of manipulating recordings of the quality of effluent to make them look better than they were but his case was not involved in the appeal.
St Regis held a pollution prevention and control permit issued by the EA for the mill, requiring the company to monitor its own effluent treatment plant, reporting results back to the agency.
The prosecution came after an EA officer noticed that one sheet had been altered from a value in excess of the daily limit to one just under the permitted amount.
The Environment Agency said it was examining the judge’s decision and would consider an appeal in the Supreme Court.