An industrial fuel oil supplier has been fined £36,689 for a spillage on the River Orwell, which flows through the Suffolk County.
The Environment Agency said Eco Oil Ltd failed to manage and operate its waste oil treatment site “under the terms of its permit”. It allowed oil to escape from its interceptor tank, run across the concrete yard and into a surface water drain outside the site entrance, which was emptied into the river.
The incident in July 2012 – which cost the company’s insurers £169,000 to clean up – killed one swan while 11 others required treatment.
The pollution was only discovered during a routine patrol of the river by the Felixstowe Volunteer Coast Patrol Rescue Service.
Mrs Miriam Tordoff, prosecuting for the Environment Agency said: “Eco Oil failed to notify us of the incident on the day it happened and failed to follow its own management system.”
The company admitted causing the pollution and failing to comply with a condition of its environmental permit.
Magistrates heard that Eco Oil, which has a previous caution for an environmental offence, had since reviewed its procedures and upgraded its equipment.