Firms fined over slurry discharge that killed fish

Two companies have been ordered to pay more than £10,000 after they unlawfully discharged pig slurry into a beck, killing more than 1,300 fish.

F Brunton & Sons Ltd, of Barnaby Grange, Guisborough, and NC Buckton Ltd, of South Cattleholmes, Wansford, Driffield, were each fined £8,000 and ordered to pay £2,333.98 in legal costs after admitting an illegal discharge in March 2012.

The firms were sentenced by Teesside Magistrates’ Court, following an Environment Agency investigation into reports of a smelly, green pollutant seen in Skelton Beck where it flows through Valley Gardens in Saltburn.

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Nigel Augustin, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, told the court it was discovered slurry being spread on fields was allowed to flow off into drains which eventually fed Sandswath Beck, which in turn feeds Skelton Beck.

The pollution was visible for 3km, and dead fish were seen over a distance of 10km.

Both firms were also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £15.

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