SIX PEOPLE have been ordered to pay almost £50,000 for running an illegal waste dumping operation in Bromsgrove which could have caused serious harm to residents because of the threat it posed to the town’s water supply.
Stephen Butler and Steven Broadley, owners and directors of Broadley and Parton, were sentenced over the unlawful burying of waste in areas of the Cinetic Quarry, near Wildmoor.
Steven Bragg, who was employed at the quarry, admitted operating outside of the environmental permit that covered the site.
The six defendants, who included company directors and site managers, pleaded guilty before their trial and were fined a total of £18,750 and were ordered to pay £30,250 costs.
During a four-day sentencing hearing, Judge Pearce Higgins QC heard evidence proving industrial and municipal waste had been found buried in areas of the quarry, contrary to the Environmental Permitting Regulations.
The operation had led to financial gain for the company over 2011 and 2012.
Judge Higgins described the incident as a ‘reckless and negligent environment crime’ and said the site had been operated in a ‘haphazard and irregular way’.
The prosecution said a two-year investigation was carried out and the company was found to have ignored repeated warnings which told them they were acting unlawfully and posed a risk to residents.
In mitigation the defence claimed the risk was low, adding the group did not know the waste was being buried.
It was also claimed they did not make a substantial financial gain from the incorrect waste disposal.
The Environment Agency officer in charge of the investigation said: “This site posed a risk to the environment and had the potential to harm human health because it did not have the correct infrastructure in place to support the waste being disposed of there.
“All of the defendants have significant experience in the waste industry so they would have been fully aware of their obligations to comply with environmental permitting rules which help ensure the environment remains protected.
“Each defendant was given warnings by the Environment Agency that the operation at Cinetic Quarry was unlawful, but these warnings were ignored.
“This is unacceptable – we take waste crime extremely seriously and will not hesitate to prosecute in cases such as this.”
Two other defendants, Brian Williams and John Chamberlain are yet to be sentenced.