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UPM fined 'for failing to spot contractor's mistake'

Paper recycler UPM has said a recent court appearance, in which it was fined £28,000, came about because a contractor had failed to spot an error over a permit.

UPM and contractor Parry & Evans of Deeside Industrial Park appeared before Mold Crown Court in early April.

Both admitted an offence concerned with operating the Shotton site without a permit for several months in 2013 after an employee of the contractor failed to apply for one.

Following the prosecution brought by Natural Resources Wales, UPM was fined £28,000 plus an agreed cost settlement, reported by a local newspaper to be £50,000, while Parry & Evans was fined £8,000 with £50,000 costs.

According to the report, Judge Niclas Parry said the “sad state of affairs” was due to a significant degree to difficulties which arose during a transitional period when there was a change in the regulations.

In a statement after the hearing, UPM said the situation had been “a matter of great regret”.

Simon Walker, head of RCP UK for UPM, said: “We are pleased to have finally concluded this case. UPM is committed to highest responsibility standards and fully compliant on all business regulations. This was a one-time incident and we have taken measures to prevent cases like this in the future.”

David Travers QC, who appeared for the company, said: “UPM is a responsible company which takes its environmental and regulatory obligations very seriously. It was fairly said on behalf of Parry & Evans that the company committed an offence because it failed to spot an error made by one of its employees.

”UPM’s failing was even less culpable – it amounted to a failure to detect that Parry & Evans had failed to spot an error.”

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