Bio company could face prosecution after 500 tonne fertiliser spill in Cannington

This is The West Country: Cannington brook turned black after 500 tonne fertiliser spill Cannington brook turned black after 500 tonne fertiliser spill

A BIO energy company could face prosecution after 500 tonnes of organic fertiliser spilled out of a ruptured storage tank in Cannington.

The brooks and rivers around the A39 turned black with pollution from the spill at Cannington Enterprises which happened last Wednesday.

The Environment Agency is now considering prosecuting the bio energy and recycling company.

Geoff Penn drove through the spill on his way to work and said his car and windscreen were covered by the fertiliser.

Geoff said: “I thought the road was flooded so I took the crest of the road to minimise the danger and then suddenly everything went black.

“There was about ten metres of this stuff. If there had been anything coming the other way we wouldn’t have seen each other.

“The whole of the car was covered in this stuff.

“I eventually got it all cleaned off but you can still smell it as the exhaust gets hot.”

A spokesperson from Cannington Enterprises said: “The rupture took place through the failure of a mechanical stirrer, which damaged the impermeable liner of the storage tank.

Cannington Enterprises was fined almost £30,000 for a similar incident two years ago.

On February 15, 2012, a member of the public reported that a nearby ditch was full of ‘green slime’ and the Environment Agency found that digestate had got into the streams.

The Environment Agency is considering issuing a formal caution and possibly prosecuting Cannington Enterprises.

A spokesperson from the EA said: “This sort of material needs to be contained.

“You don’t want it getting out into the rivers and streams.

“What we are considering is enforcement action which can mean prosecution or can mean we issue a formal caution, but we have not decided what action to take as of yet.”

Comments (2)

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8:25am Wed 9 Apr 14

awayswing says...

What does it take to get the EA to act?An assessment of the total damage done by this leakage may be time consuming but as the firm concerned have admitted responsibility why can't they make their minds up more promptly?
What does it take to get the EA to act?An assessment of the total damage done by this leakage may be time consuming but as the firm concerned have admitted responsibility why can't they make their minds up more promptly? awayswing
  • Score: 3

4:10pm Thu 10 Apr 14

Quantockwastewatch says...

This should not be called a "bio-energy" plant. Its main business is charging others for taking in their food-waste most of which comes from outside Somerset. It does export some electricity but over half the energy is produced as heat. As there is little use for this in the countryside pretty well all of it disappears into the air as heat.
When Somerset county councillors permitted this plant in 2011 there was no assessment of the potential environmental impact of making and distributing over 50 000 tonnes per year of the digestate that has caused this pollution.
This should not be called a "bio-energy" plant. Its main business is charging others for taking in their food-waste most of which comes from outside Somerset. It does export some electricity but over half the energy is produced as heat. As there is little use for this in the countryside pretty well all of it disappears into the air as heat. When Somerset county councillors permitted this plant in 2011 there was no assessment of the potential environmental impact of making and distributing over 50 000 tonnes per year of the digestate that has caused this pollution. Quantockwastewatch
  • Score: 1

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