A scrap car dismantling and salvage firm has been ordered to pay nearly £25,000 for breaking environmental laws.
Doncaster-based Motorhog Ltd used the now-closed site on Wallsend Road, North Shields, to depollute and bale end-of-life vehicles.
But the company – which continues to operate sites in Leeds, Doncaster and Hull – repeatedly broke the terms of its environmental permit.
It was fined £20,000 by North Tyneside Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to two of three charges, and ordered to pay £4,936.88 costs.
The Environment Agency brought the prosecution after officers spent a significant amount of time attempting, unsuccessfully, to bring the site into compliance.
Officers visited on December 1, 2015, to assess permit compliance after several breaches were identified during a previous inspection. During the visit, they identified further permit breaches.
The first gave Motorhog Ltd until February 8, 2016, to carry out maintenance to the vehicle baler so it could operate without spilling or leaking potentially polluting materials.
The second notice required Motorhog Ltd either to ensure the concrete surface where the vehicle baler operated was compliant or to move the baler to a more suitable area.
Officers visited again on March 2 and April 12 and noted failure to comply with each of the orders. They also noted unattended spills throughout the site, including fluids visibly leaking from the baler onto the surface below where there was no sealed drainage.
Environment Agency spokesperson, Rachael Caldwell, said: “I hope that Motorhog Ltd takes a long hard look at its operations across the north to ensure that all its sites are compliant and its staff are properly trained.
“The regulations exist to protect the environment and local communities from the risk of harm. Vehicles contain liquids that are harmful to the environment and they must be dealt with correctly.
“We will not hesitate to take action against any operator that repeatedly breaks the law and disregards its environmental obligations.”