Charity’s £25,000 windfall from pollution court case


An environmental charity has received a £25,000 payout from a waste firm following the contamination of groundwater at its site.

The Environment Agency ordered that a payment be made to Rockingham Forest Trust, a local organisation based in Northamptonshire, after the waste management company Augean South discharged harmful chemicals in groundwater next to its treatment centre.

The EA said that the discharge, which happened in 2020, had a short-term impact on wildlife and saw some amphibian species decline but populations recovered by the following summer.

Augean South accepted responsibility for releasing contaminated liquid into groundwater and agreed to donate £25,000 to Rockingham Forest Trust. 

The company was also ordered to pay £11,058.90 to cover the costs of the Environment Agency investigation.

The EA said it was “satisfied that Augean took appropriate action to resolve the situation” and there had been no similar incidents at the waste facility since.

Kate Chadwick, executive director of Rockingham Forest Trust told Third Sector that while it was difficult to measure the damage caused by the leak and the sum paid may be arbitrary, any contribution to organisations that worked in the area directly affected was welcome. 

The money will be put towards heavy duty conservation work and will fund a nature engagement coordinator who will carry community outreach activities.

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