Eros Laboratories, UK cosmetics company fined for pollution
Managers at the company said that they were unaware of the leak at
the time and were also not aware of guidelines over pollution
prevention and storage of drums and containers.
Although the company's management would not give any comment about
the incident, which led to a 3,000 (4,400) fine, the UK's Environment
Agency says that the company was warned about pollution prevention and
the storage of potentially hazardous materials two years ago.
The pollution, which occurred on a stretch of the Potterhanworth
Beck that adjoined the company's yard, was said to have killed
extensive aquatic life, including pea mussles, leeches and fresh water
The Environmental Agency was alerted to the incident following
reports of foam in the river coming from a large drainage pipe
connected to the company's premises. This pipe was meant to be for rain
water only, but it appears that a spillage from a drum in the storage
area caused the leak.
The company's site, which is used for storage, was reportedly to
have been broken in to, suggesting that the spillage may have been
caused by intruders, but this claim has not been substantiated.
After the hearing Environment Agency officer David Hutchinson said:
"This case hi-lights how important it is for companies to pay attention
to their pollution prevention measures.
"Despite vandalism being the suggested cause of this incident, it is
the company which is ultimately responsible for ensuring polluting
liquids are stored securely.
"We strongly recommend that any polluting liquids such as oils,
chemicals or in this case waste hygiene products should be stored in
suitably contained areas for example impermeable bunds."
The Environment Agency also took UK cosmetics company Lush to court
back in January of this year, over claims that the company failed to
supply certificates of compliance for its recycling programme.
At the time Lush said that it had complied with regulations, stating
that the fine imposed was simply due to the fact that it had failed to
register for the scheme as part of an administrative oversight.
During the court hearing Lush stressed that it currently re-covered
and re-cycled 85 per cent of its waste packaging. Its compliance with
such regulations forms part of the company's image as an
environmentally-friendly and ethical business.