A Shropshire farmer has been fined and ordered to pay £6,000 costs under Regulations 12 (1) (a) and 38 (1) (a) of the Environmental Permitting (England Wales) Regulations 2016, after admitting to illegally burying waste dust on his land near Market Drayton.
Environment Agency officers brought the case forward, following reports of a large pit being dug and filled with around 2,500m³ of waste dust, from the production of animal bedding.
The defendant had no environmental permit and the court was told it had been filled without regard for the impact on the environment, which was in an area designated as a Nitrogen Vulnerable Zone (NVZ).
Farmers whose land is in a NVZ area must plan the management of organic materials and wastes carefully to avoid pollution. Nitrates in groundwater can affect the safety of drinking water and cause pollution to rivers.
A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said:
"Had the dust been left to decompose in the pit, it had the potential to have a negative impact on the localised groundwater."
"Pollution was only avoided due to the intervention of the Environment Agency as it was the intention of the site to bury it and leave it."