Landowners in Yorkshire who practise illegal waste operations could face huge clean-up costs.
The warning comes from the Environment Agency (EA) after its officers found large-scale tipping of waste in three sites in Leeds and Sheffield.
According to the EA, despite the lack of environmental permissions, a waste operator negotiated access to these sites by signing leases for their use and stored more than 1,000 tonnes of waste in total.
Any person or business who transports, treats, stores or deposits waste without the required environmental permits is breaking the law and if waste is left illegally on any land, the responsibility for removing it can fall to the landowner, it added.
Andy Swettenham, Environment Management team leader said: “If you own or lease out land for industrial use, it is vital that you know what activities are taking place on it. If your tenant uses or intends to use your land for waste activities, they must possess all of the appropriate legal permits and the responsibility lies with you to ensure that those waste activities are legal.
“If you fail to check and illegal waste builds up on your land then you could be liable for the costs of having it removed and the land restored.”