Anthony Hanley, 34, of Marton Burn Road in Middlesbrough, appeared at Teesside Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 20 March where he pleaded guilty to two charges of operating a scrapyard without a permit.
He was fined £800, ordered to pay costs of £4,000 and a victim surcharge of £80.
Prosecuting on behalf of the Environment Agency, Simon Crowder told the court that Hanley is the owner of Cliffs Autos which deals with end of life vehicles.
To take end of life scrap vehicles on to a site, the operators need an environmental permit for disposal of vehicle waste to ensure no risk to the environment by preventing fluids from going into the ground or into drainage systems.
On 25 August 2016 Environment Agency officers attended the illegal site at King George Terrace in Middlesbrough where they saw a sign offering to buy vehicles ‘dead or alive’, leading them to believe Hanley wanted to buy scrap vehicles.
“Hanley was given the opportunity to clear the vehicles of waste but when we returned to check the site it was full again”
Officers noticed there was in excess of 30 end of life vehicles stored at the premises. The defendant was co-operative with officers and was told to clear the site within 28 days.
On 12 September the same year, officers returned to the site and saw the number of vehicles had now reduced, and a further visit in December saw the site had been cleared.
But on 7 April 2017, the two Environment Agency officers returned to the site to see it had resumed operation again, with in excess of 30 end of life vehicles present, with some leaking fluids on to the ground.
Rachael Caldwell, Enforcement Team Leader at the Environment Agency said: “Hanley was given the opportunity to clear the vehicles of waste but when we returned to check the site it was full again.
“Environmental permits are needed for a reason – they ensure operators have the correct procedures and equipment in place to protect the environment.
“Not only do illegal sites impact on the environment but they undermine legitimate businesses. Every day our officers are out on the ground identifying illegal waste sites and taking the necessary action.”