Christopher Williams, a partner in the company Zintec Feed Supplements, Shobdon, Herefordshire has been fined a total of £10,000 as a result of a spillage of soya bean oil to Pearl Lake, Shobdon, Herefordshire. He was also ordered to pay costs of £3,500 to Environment Agency Wales who brought the prosecution at Hereford Magistrates’ Court on 29 January 2007.

An extensive three-week clean-up operation was organised by the Agency, costing nearly £23,000. These costs were recovered from the company through a separate civil action.

Williams pleaded guilty to Section 85 of the Water Resources Act 1991, Section 4 of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975, and Regulations 3 and 4 of the Control of Pollution (Oil Storage)(England) Regulations 2001.
(See Notes for details of fines).

The Court was told that between 13 January and 2 March 2006 complaints were received that a significant quantity of soya bean oil had entered Pearl Lake via a culvert. The oil spread to cover more than half of the 15 acre (6 hectare) lake, resulting in dead fish and birds and an extensive aesthetic impact and detriment to the amenity value of the lake. Following lengthy investigations by Agency officers, the source was traced to an oil storage tank at Zintec Feed Supplements.

Steve Morgan, Agency Environment Management Team Leader, said: ‘By failing to comply with the Oil Storage Regulations, the spillage of soya bean oil ended up unnecessarily polluting a large expanse of Pearl Lake. This could have been prevented by simply installing a suitable secondary containment system, such as a bund, and ensuring that all valves and delivery pipework were also within the bund.’