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Marshalls fined for polluting water course

Landscaping and quarrying company Marshalls have been fined for pouring too much effluent into a West Yorkshire watercourse.

The damage caused by Marshalls Mono Limited affected more than two kilometres of a West Yorkshire watercourse, turning it a milky brown colour.

Marshalls have Environment Agency permission to discharge effluent from their Sovereign Quarry site in Shepley into a tributary of Shepley Dyke.

However, on 13 March last year a discharge by the company contained more than 10 times the permitted level of suspended solids, which can endanger fish and other creatures around the water.

The Elland-based company pleaded guilty at Huddersfield Magistrates’ Court last week to one offence of breaching their discharge consent.

Marshalls were fined £3,000 and costs of £4,098.

Trevor Cooper, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, told the magistrates’ the alarm was raised by a member of the public, who reported that the tributary was a milky brown colour.

When an environment officer attended she was unable to see the bottom of the stream, even though it is only 30 centimetres deep.

The bench gave Marshalls credit for pleading guilty at the first opportunity and its efforts to stop the discharge as soon as it became aware of the problem.

In mitigation, the court heard Marshalls had co-operated with the Environment Agency during its inquiries and had paid initial investigation costs of £385. It had no convictions in the past four years.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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