THE Environment Agency has named and shamed the company that caused a 'worst-ever' pollution when at least 100,000 fish perished last March.
Omex Agriculture Ltd allowed a significant quantity of ammonia to leak into the River Witham,in what was Lincolnshire’s worst-ever river pollution.
Omex has now been served with a rarely-used ‘notice of liability’ insisting it submits proposals for repairing the River Witham.
Unless Omex appeals, it has until very soon – mid January – to submit a plan which the EA has to agree meets the needs of the environment.
But the company could still face prosecution for the incident, and potentially a large fine, depending on the outcome of the investigation which is still ongoing.
The ammonia affected the River Witham from Bardney right down to the Wash. It severely impacted the condition of the river and wiped out a vast number of fish and invertebrates.
Manfai Tang, environment manager at the EA, said: “We know the pollution had a devastating effect on delicate river ecosystems, and issuing this notice means the process of helping the river recover to its natural, healthy state, can start sooner.
“It’s one way we’re working to protect and improve our environment for local people and wildlife.
“We look forward to receiving proposals from Omex for review, and working with them to restore the Witham.
“After the incident, EA experts and biologists worked tirelessly with other organisations to clean up the pollution and mitigate the damage,” he added.
Omex Agriculture Limited is a privately owned company based in Tupholme, just east of Lincoln, that develops and markets products and services for agriculture and industry.
As reported in Angler’s Mail, fisheries teams have since re-stocked the River Witham with more than 1.5 million fish larvae. Those tiny new fish included common bream, roach and tench.
Other new stock includes around 40,000 roach and bream ranging from 3-4 cm long.
Jake Bennett of Short Ferry Tackle in Fiskerton said: “Luckily the pollution didn’t reach our two-mile drain but I understand the fishing for silvers on the affected stretches has been terrible.
“But many pike seem to have survived and maybe because there aren’t that many bait fish to feed on, plenty are being caught.”
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