CHICKEN processor Moy Park has been issued with a big fine after admitting taking too much water for processing at its factory in Anwick.
At Lincoln Magistrates’ Court on Monday the company was fined £12,000 after the court heard it had taken 17 per cent more than its annual allowance from two groundwater boreholes between March 2010 and April 2011 – just months before the area was declared to be in drought.
Claire Corfield, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, said Moy Park had been told several times in 2009 that it would not allow an increase in yearly abstraction amounts under its licence.
She said the company had saved money by not taking the extra water from a mains supplied by Anglian Water.
Mrs Corfield told magistrates that Moy Park had applied for a new replacement borehole at Anwick in June 2009 with a proposal to increase the daily amount of water it could abstract. The company was told that no increase to the annual amount of 700,000 cubic metres could be considered.
She told the court the Lincolnshire limestone was already under pressure and no extra water could be taken as it would compromise resources for the future.
The company was also ordered to pay full Environment Agency costs of £3,085.
Mark Watson for the company told the court that the breach was not deliberate and arose as a result of carelessness. The company had failed to reconcile monthly usage figures from the boreholes and compare these with the licence limits. The company has taken steps to ensure no repeat occurrence.
He asked the court to take into account a further offence, also concerning the taking of more than the annual allowance for water, when it abstracted 2 per cent more than its licence allowed for 2011-12.