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Hochtief/ Norwest Holst fined for heavy pollution

CHANNEL TUNNEL Rail Link joint venture contractor Hochtief/Norwest Holst was last week ordered to pay a £45,000 fine and £7,000 costs for polluting streams bordering three of its sites.

Hochtief/Norwest Holst pleaded guilty to charges brought by the Environment Agency over heavy pollution of watercourses with sediments and sands on three separate occasions.

The joint venture is working on CTRL Contract 420 between Boxley and Lenham Heath, valued at £385M.

The contractor was also found to have failed in its duty to identify and secure watercourses at risk from on-site contaminants.

Boarley Stream at Sandling, Kent, was heavily polluted with sediments and silts on 25 September 1999.

Large quantities of sand and silt were also released into Boxley Drain, Maidstone, on 25 February 2000. And sands washed from the site by rainwater runoff effectively dammed Musketstone Stream, Hollingbourne.

In mitigation Hochtief/ Norwest Holst accused the Environment Agency of failing to do more to help it develop an environmental protection strategy.

But Agency prosecutor Martin Davies hit back, stating that complacency towards environmental management by large, established contractors working on high profile projects such as the CTRL was indefensible.

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