A road tanker driver has been ordered to pay a £1,352 (€1,562) fine at Gateshead Magistrates’ Court in the UK for discharging liquid waste from his vehicle.
Stanley Hall, of High Carr Road in Durham, pleaded guilty to discharging contaminated water into a highway drain. Video evidence recorded by a passing motorist clearly showed black liquid being discharged from the vehicle in question, and subsequently flowing through gulley holes at the roadside.
Defending himself, Hall accepted that what he’d done was wrong, although insisted he had been placed under pressure to do so by his now former employers as the tanker had to be taken in for repairs later that day.
Rachael Caldwell, area environment manager for the Environment Agency, which was prosecution for the case, said: “Discharging any contaminated liquid waste is a serious offence as it could cause an unlimited amount of damage to the environment and if it ends up in the local watercourse it could have an impact on residents and wildlife.”
Records confirmed that Hall drove his vehicle from Hartlepool to Ryton where approximately 8,000 litres of waste was drawn out from a storage tank and taken to a sewage treatment works. He later made the return journey to extract a further 8,000 litres, but rather than taking it to the sewage works he emptied the contents on to the road.
Caldwell added: “We applaud the vigilance, care and attention of the passing motorist, whose quick thinking to safely record footage of the offence has been a key piece of evidence in the prosecution of Mr Hall. We would urge the public if they see any suspicious activity to report the information to our incident line.”
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