The latest prosecution by the Environment Agency of a filling station operator has resulted in a record fine of £8 million. The Environment Agency’s investigation found the leak resulted from the operator’s failure to address a known issue with the fuel delivery system and an inadequate alarm system. It was compounded by “poor” emergency procedures. The leak affected local residents and local watercourses, with leaked fuel entering the Langwood Brook resulting in fish kill. County councillor Albert Atkinson, deputy leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “The fact the leak was allowed to continue for more than 24 hours undoubtedly contributed to a risk of harm to people living and working nearby, as well as emergency services attending the incident.”
We believe that this case marks a change in approach from the Environment Agency, with a focus on prosecution under health and safety legislation rather than the available environmental regulations. The resulting fine of £8 million was significantly higher than fines levied for similar incidents prosecuted for polluting controlled waters.
Environmental planning conditions are commonplace in brownfield development and much of our work is involved in the negotiation of discharge of such conditions. We have developed excellent relationships with Planning Authorities and Environment Agency/Scottish Environment Protection Agency over the years and enjoy a good success rate in planning condition discharge.
Earlier in the year Subadra were commissioned to assist in a significant phased retail development on the south coast of England. The site is within Zone I of a Source Protection Zone, overlies Chalk and is 40m from surface water. In other words it is in an extremely environmentally sensitive location. Initial investigation works had identified diesel and waste oil in shallow groundwater under the site.
This is where owning our own drill rigs and our own laboratory comes into play! We were able to delineate and characterise the contamination, and install sentinel wells within a month and without delaying the build programme. As a result of our detailed assessment, we’ve negotiated a long-term remedial solution for the site, installed the required groundworks and construction works have commenced.
Subadra have been retained by a major food wholesaler/distributor to carry out a comprehensive audit/investigation of the fuel storage and supply infrastructure at a multi-site portfolio across the UK. Key to winning the contract was our ability to complete the project within a tight timescale. This is only possible because of our unique approach whereby every aspect of the project will be carried out using in house resources, from borehole drilling through to laboratory analysis; and, of course, our competitive rates!
Subadra have been appointed by the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) to provide specialist environmental advice to their members. The RMI represents the interests of petrol retailers and forecourt operators across the UK. They provide support on matters ranging from contaminated fuel problems to getting a better deal with your fuel supplier.
We join their technical support team in providing practical and sensible advise for all matters associated with fuel leaks, spills and ground contamination issues.
Whether you need guiding through the planning process during a site redevelopment or you suspect you may have had a fuel leak – we can help.
Please contact James Edley(Tel. 01296 739412 or email) for further information.
We have recently completed an environmental baseline survey for ASM Metal Recycling Ltd on a site in Iver, assisting in their application for a site licence under the Environmental Permitting Regulations (England and Wales), 2010. The works were
designed to assist with the completion of a Site Condition Report for submission to the Environment Agency.
As part of our assessment we used our Geoprobe drilling system to construct 50mm diameter boreholes and install permanent groundwater monitoring infrastructure at the site. Site works were completed in a single day. Soil and groundwater samples we collected were then analysed by our in-house UKAS accredited laboratory.
We would always recommend that anyone taking on the leasehold of a site consider completing an environmental baseline survey before taking possession or commencing activities. Identifying and quantifying historical contamination before occupation is the only
sure way to protect against future claims by the landlord for historical contamination liability.
Please contact James Skinner for advice regarding any aspect of managing potential environmental liabilities during a property leasehold.
Subadra have completed the successful transformation of a former scrap yard site into a public open space – on time and under budget.
Subadra, acting as Principal Contractor, have recently completed the investigation, remediation and landscaping of a 0.3ha former scrap yard site in Harmondsworth following an eight week program of works. Following detailed site characterisation works, we devised a remedial strategy comprising the targeted excavation of contaminated soils using GPS surveying equipment. Contamination issues included soils impacted with lead, hydrocarbons and solvents and additional impact of underlying groundwater. We pre-treated excavated soils on site, with over 100tonnes of material reclaimed for re-use on site.
Over 500tonnes of soil required offsite disposal to recycling facilities and an additional 30tonnes of plastic waste and 8tonnes of metal were recovered. Groundwater was treated with in-situ oxygen release compounds. Following remedial works we have completed detailed landscaping of the site, importing over 800tonnes of top soil and foundation materials, meeting the Client’s requirements to return the site to public open space. The site will shortly form part of the larger Harmondsworth Moor parkland complex.