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Vegetable firm which grossly polluted waterway agrees to give £12,000 to environmental charity

Carrots being processed at Alfred G Pearce in Setchey. Picture: MATTHEW USHER

Carrots being processed at Alfred G Pearce in Setchey. Picture: MATTHEW USHER

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2015

A vegetable company has donated £12,000 to charity after grossly polluting a waterway with water used to wash carrots.

Carrots being processed at Alfred G Pearce in Setchey. Picture: MATTHEW USHER Carrots being processed at Alfred G Pearce in Setchey. Picture: MATTHEW USHER

The Environment Agency took formal sample results from the water at Brook Drain, in Wormegay, near King’s Lynn, after the incident which involved Alfred G Pearce Ltd, based in Setchey.

The company told the Environment Agency that an inspection chamber, which also acted as an overflow tank, had been damaged by a reversing lorry.

There had been no system in place to alert them of the damage and no procedure for checking the Brook Drain on a regular basis.

This had led to a delay in rectifying the problem, the Environment Agency said.

Carrots being processed at Alfred G Pearce in Setchey. Picture: MATTHEW USHER Carrots being processed at Alfred G Pearce in Setchey. Picture: MATTHEW USHER

Since then the damage has been repaired, bollards placed to prevent a recurrence of the damage, bunded areas installed to contain spills and a new treatment plant brought in.

It also reached an enforcement undertaking with the Environment Agency, during which Alfred G Pearce Ltd agreed to put right any damage caused by the pollution and give £12,000 to the Norfolk Rivers Trust.

Alfred G Pearce, a third generation family business which is run by brothers Simon amd Jonathan Pearce, said it did not want to comment.

Environment Agency Helen Blower officer said: “Enforcement undertakings allow those who commit offences to restore the environment and to take steps to prevent a recurrence.

Carrots being processed at Alfred G Pearce in Setchey. Picture: MATTHEW USHER Carrots being processed at Alfred G Pearce in Setchey. Picture: MATTHEW USHER

“When appropriate, they allow a quicker resolution than a prosecution and help offenders who are prepared to take responsibility for their actions to put things right voluntarily working with their local communities.”

The enforcement undertaking, which was completed un July 2017, was offered in relation to an offence of pollution under regulation 38 of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.

The company’s website says it grows, processes and markets vegetables for food manufacturing in the UK and through Europe, handling over 80,000 tonnes of products annually.

It takes crops from harvest, before washing, peeling and full preparing them to deliver to customers.

Vegetables it produces include carrots, parsnip, swede, sweet potato and rhubarb.

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