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Penalty clauses

FIRMS WHICH pollute the environment could face much tougher penalties, warned Environment minister Michael Meacher at this week's Labour party conference.

'The fines currently imposed on companies which seriously damage the environment are often pathetic,' he told delegates. 'I am determined to make the penalties a real and effective deterrent.'

He added that an inventory of all noxious discharges to land, air or water will be developed and made available to the public in newspapers, on the television and on the internet.

Meacher also said the Government will be cracking down on employers who put their employees' health at risk, and said the pounds2,500 average fine for significant offences was an insult to workers.

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