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Company fined over hospital waste burning breach

William Harvey hospital stock
William Harvey hospital stock

A company that burns clinical waste at Ashford's William Harvey Hospital has been fined £20,000 after it breached emissions limits.

White Rose Environmental Ltd was also made subject to £13,000 costs when it admitted 12 counts of failing to comply with an environmental permit at Maidstone Crown Court on Monday.

The Maidstone-based company operates a waste incinerator with a permit issued by the Environment Agency, allowing it to burn clinical waste and a restricted range of pharmaceutical products, packaging, paper, biologically-contaminated soils and mixed agricultural or food waste.

The Environment Agency should be notified by White Rose if any emissions from the incinerator exceed the limits set in the permit.

Since the permit was issued in December 2005 the company has notified the Environment Agency of a number of contraventions of the permit.

In 2006, the Environment Agency met with White Rose Environmental Limited to discuss these issues.

Following this meeting, the Environment Agency issued the company with an Enforcement Notice detailing a list of agreed actions. Despite this, emission levels in the permit were again exceeded.

Matt Thompson, Pollution, Prevention and Control Officer for the Environment Agency, said: "Fortunately, these breaches did not cause any significant damage to the environment but by failing to comply with emission levels set in the permit White Rose Environmental Limited has disregarded its legal obligations. We attempted to work with the company to address this problem and gave them plenty of warning that they were not complying but they consistently ignored these warnings over a number of months.

"I hope this sends a strong message to this company and other operators that they must not put profit before compliance with their permits or they face hefty fines."

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