GIANT private utilities company Severn Trent Water Limited was hit by a massive fine after pollution incidents led to a relative small number of fish deaths.

Though the number of fish deaths was pretty low, Severn Trent received a whopping £480,000, fine and ordered to pay Environment Agency costs of £13,675.

A death toll of ‘dozens of fish’ died after Severn Trent repeatedly let raw sewage leak into a private pond that leads into the Kingsforth Brook at Bramley near Rotherham, South Yorkshire.

The company had been warned on two previous occasions for similar incidents at the same location.

New European Union laws means relatively small pollutions means large financial penalties on large firms. A rich company could have to pay £3 million pounds if it was a Category 1 offence.

In passing sentence at Sheffield Crown Court, the Judge stated that both offences were committed negligently and the harm to the environment was localised, and therefore minor, albeit significant to those affected by the incident.

An EA officer spokesperson said: “This is one of the largest fines ever to be imposed on a water company, and I hope it sends a strong message that it is far more cost effective to avoid these incidents, as we will continue to take companies and individuals to task where they ignore their responsibilities.

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