Newcastle-based aggregates haulier Thorburn Bros has undertaken to pay £9,872 for environmental improvements at Northumberland Wildlife Trust, after the Environment Agency found it had illegally deposited 9,380 tonnes of waste soils at a quarry in Longframlington in 2018.

The company agreed to make the payment after the Environment Agency found the company had been dumping waste soils from building sites at an old quarry, located on farmland in Longframlington, which was not covered by an environmental permit.

The Environment Agency visited the site and witnessed a “continuous stream of wagons” marked with Thorburn Bros Ltd livery depositing soil and clays, which were being levelled by a bulldozer.

Following a visit to Thorburn Bros offices at Benton Square Industrial Estate in Newcastle, the haulier produced evidence to show that the company had deposited some 9,380 tonnes of waste soils at the quarry.

The agency found that the company had failed to meet its environmental obligations by avoiding the cost of applying for an environmental permit, which Thorburn Bros needed in order to carry out the tipping lawfully.

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As a result the company agreed to submit an enforcement undertaking to the Environment Agency, to pay £9,872 to Northumberland Wildlife Trust in West Chevington for environmental improvements, as a way of making amends.

Area environment manager, Andrew Turner, said: “Illegally disposing of waste at a site that does not include the necessary infrastructure for managing and controlling pollution presents a real risk of harm to people and the environment.

“In some circumstances, enforcement undertakings can achieve a good resolution of our enforcement action, allowing the offender to put things right and help to improve our environment.

“This payment of £9,872 will do just that by supporting environmental improvements at Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s site at West Chevington, a former open-cast coal mine."

The agency added that Thorburn Bros has also submitted detailed improvements to its administrative systems and staff training systems to help avoid the risk of environmental offending in the future.