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Dirty companies named and shamed

CONTRACTORS BALFOUR Beatty and EOM Construction are among Britain's worst polluters according to a 'hall of shame' list published by the Environment Agency this week.

They were among the 15 worst companies involved in pollution incidents in 1997.

Balfour Beatty ranked as the thirteenth most polluting firm after being fined £13,000 for an oil spill into the River Derwent and £2,500 for depositing controlled waste without a license.

EOM was the seventh most polluting company, and was fined £21,000 for illegally dumping 7,830t of waste in Colne, near Burnley.

Agency chief executive Ed Gallagher said the number of reported pollution incidents from the construction industry had risen by more than 250 cases in the last five years. 'Clearly some businesses don't take their responsibilities as seriously as they should,' he added.

His views came as the EA and construction research body CIRIA were forced to cancel a major seminar on pollution prevention and waste minimisation this week.

The seminar, due to be held at Anglia Polytechnic University in Essex today, was to have been used to launch new guidance developed by CIRIA called Environmental good practice - working on site.

It was called off on Monday afternoon due to lack of interest from the construction industry.

Another Agency/CIRIA seminar on environmental good practice is scheduled for 14 April. Call (0171) 222 8892 for details.

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