Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Farmer fined £16,000 for pollution offences

April 30, 2018 by  
Filed under News & Business

A Shropshire farmer was fined £16,000 after pleaded guilty to one charge relating to water abstraction and nine charges relating nitrate pollution management.

Edward Fair, 55, of Peatswood Farm, Market Drayton, was also ordered to pay £20,000 in costs and a £170 victim surcharge after abstracting more than 20,000 litres of water daily from a borehole on the farmland without an abstraction licence between May 2015 and April 2017.

The case was heard at Telford Magistrates’ Court on 16 April 2018. The charges were brought by the Environment Agency under the Nitrate Pollution Prevention Regulations 2008 and Sections 24(1) and (4) of the Water Resources Act 1991.

Between October 2016 and April 2017, Mr Fair was abstracting an average of 67,000 litres of water per day, more than three times the legal limit. This water was being used in farming activities but was also being supplied to eight nearby tenanted properties.

A formal notice was served on Mr Fair on 13 October 2015, requiring him to notify the residents of the supplied properties advising them that the water was not fit for consumption due to high nitrate levels. The notice was later withdrawn after Mr Fairs made improvements to the supply.

The farm is in a designated nitrate vulnerable zone (NVZ). But Mr Fairs was unable to produce records showing that in 2014 he had carried out the necessary planning and recording of his farming activities under the Nitrate Pollution Prevention Regulations 2008.

In mitigation, Mr Fair’s barrister said Mr Fair had no previous convictions and was of previous good character. He admitted that Mr Fair had failed in his obligations under the legislation but that he had sought out new professional advice and was working to improve his farming practices.

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