30 June 2017 by Elizabeth Slow

Car scrapyard has environmental permit revoked

The Environment Agency has revoked the permit of an operator of a vehicle scrapyard in County Durham, after what it claimed were a ‘series’ of alleged breaches of environmental legislation.

The Agency took the action against Robert Wright (snr), the former Company Director of Robby’s Auto Dismantling Ltd in Stanley, following breaches of licence conditions after his son took over the business.

The Robby’s Auto site in County Durham, pictured in August 2016

The decision means that Robby’s Auto Dismantling Ltd will no longer be authorised to accept and treat waste metals from 15 July 2017.

Environmental permits ensure the protection of the environment and local communities from the risk of pollution caused through the carrying out of waste activities, the Agency said.

Permit

Under the regulations, the permit must be in the name of the person who has overall control of the facility and the site must employ an industry qualified technically competent manager to provide waste management advice and guidance.

According to the Agency, the permit for Robby’s Auto Dismantling was in the name of Robert Wright (snr), meaning he is ‘legally responsible’ for ensuring the site is compliant. In 2006 he retired and his sons Ian and Robert Wright (jnr) took over. In January 2013 Ian Wright took sole control of the business, the Agency claims.

It added that its officers ‘repeatedly’ advised Ian and Robert Wright (snr) of the legal requirement to transfer the permit. However, no application was ever received, the Agency says, and officers were unable to take action against Ian Wright for a number of permit breaches on site because the permit was not in his name.

Fees

In addition, the permit holder had failed to pay subsistence fees since 2013, the Agency said.

Andrew Rothery from the Environment Agency said: “The Environment Agency has revoked the environmental permit for Robby’s Autos to protect the environment and ensure a level playing field for legitimate businesses. It is clear that the permit holder is not in a position to ensure compliance with permit conditions.

“It is vital that waste companies comply with the law so that communities and the environment are not put at risk. We work with operators to help them meet their obligations, but where significant or repeated breaches occur, we will take appropriate action to protect the environment.”

The revocation requires all waste is removed from the site and disposed of legally by 31 July 2017.

letsrecycle.com has contacted the company for comment.

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