Cambridge biogas firm instructed to pay £42k: A firm that makes crops into energy has been instructed to pay out a total of £42,000 following an ‘extremely harmful’ liquid polluted River Cam.

Reported as reckless by Cambridge Magistrate’s Court, biogas company Pretoria Energy permitted a liquid that is made when the crops are in storage, called silage liquor, to leak into the stream.

The pollution mishap, which was supposedly viewed for almost half a mile, happened at Pretoria’s site off the A10 near Ely in 2018 when the liquid escaped via poorly-maintained drains through the water.

The firm manages an anaerobic digestion plant situated in Chittering to convert the crops being used to create energy.

The company had the proper drainage system heard by Magistrates, but cracks along the drains & concrete paving meant the silage liquor seeped into drains and out threough the unnamed stream.

The Environment Agency sent an officer who examined the site after the incident saw the water coal black in colour.

Miriam Joy, Land and Water Officer for the Environment Agency, stated: “Companies should take their environmental responsibilities seriously. Appropriate checks and methods need to be in place to ensure their activities don’t cause pollution or harm the environment.

“We hope the large fine handed out to Pretoria Energy acts as a deterrent to others.”

Cambridge biogas firm instructed to pay £42k

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