A MAN who failed to improve conditions at his scrapyard despite two major fires has been prosecuted. 

In April the Environment Agency took the director of a vehicle scrap yard, who persistently breached the conditions of an Environment Permit for the storage, drainage and dismantling of waste vehicles, to court.

The site was over capacity and Imran Mirza, director of First Choice Car Spares Limited, did not have permission to accept vehicles following a suspension notice issued by Environment Agency. 

Despite this Mirza illegally accepted waste vehicles onto his site at the Moorfield Industrial Estate, Altham, Hyndburn.

Mirza was sentenced to 16 weeks imprisonment, suspended for a year, had a 16 week curfew imposed and was ordered to pay costs of £17,043.50 and a victim surcharge of £115.

The permit for this site remains suspended and waste cannot lawfully be accepted. Anyone taking cars to a site whilst a permit has been suspended in this also way risks committing a criminal offence themselves.

An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “Mr Mirza failed to respond to warnings and enforcement notices to improve operations at the site, despite repeated site inspections and warnings from Environment Agency Officers and officers from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service. This caused unacceptable risks to the environment, local residents and businesses. These risks were highlighted by two significant fires at the site in December 2016 and April 2017.

“Waste vehicles can only legally be stored and dismantled by operators who hold, and comply with, an Environmental Permit. The oils, fluids and gases they contain can cause significant environmental harm unless they are fully drained and stored in full compliance with permit conditions.

“We will continue to work tirelessly to tackle environmental crime which can have a devastating effects on, people, the environment and legitimate business. We are committed to ensuring that appropriate environmental standards are adhered to.”

If you suspect that waste crime is going on in your area, report it immediately. Environmental incidents can be reported to the Environment Agency 24/7 on 0800 807060 and anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.