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£10K fine for marina pollution

£10K fine for marina pollution

Thursday 14 November 2019

£10K fine for marina pollution


A French construction firm has been fined £10,000 after admitting risking polluting the Elizabeth Marina.

The Legendre Group is working on the Horizon development on the St Helier waterfront, which includes 280 apartments.

The construction is in partnership with the Jersey Development Company, and is next door to the Radisson Blu Hotel, and existing Castle Quay apartments.

Radisson Blu

Pictured: The new apartments are being built alongside the Radisson Blu hotel at the Waterfront. 

A statement issued this afternoon by the government said that, "...on Thursday 21st February 2019, reports were received of pollution entering the Elizabeth Marina. Following an extensive investigation, it was established that suspended solids were entering or being disturbed within the Elizabeth Marina as a result of seawater flowing from the Horizon development site."

Jersey's Magistrate's Court heard that surveys had been carried out before work started, but Magistrate Bridget Shaw accepted there was some ambiguity over whether there was some sea wall at the point where the pollution risk occurred. Part of the sea wall was removed there, causing "egress of sea water." 

Represented by Advocate James Angus, Legendre had previously said that when it was realised the sea wall had been breached, work was stopped to see what could be done about it.

Residents had grown concerned about the risk of pollution where the part of the sea wall had been removed and some had taken photos.

magistrates_mags_magistrates_court_bandw.JPG

Pictured: The Magistrate's Court where Legendre was fined £10,000 for breaching Jersey's waste management laws. 

Magistrate Bridget Shaw said that although it was not intentional it was a failing on behalf of the company. 

She said the court accepted that Legendre was not aware that it was risking causing pollution within the marina and that work was stopped immediately when the company was told of the risk. She also accepted that Legendre took appropriate steps to deal with it.

"Although not intentional, it was a failing on behalf of the company," she said.

"There was no harm to marine life, and a low risk that any harm would be caused, but residents were concerned."

"It will concern members of the public that something was not right. This is a major public project and concerns would have been raised in the minds of the public that something was not right, and that sea life was at risk. They're concerned that something has gone wrong.

"This is a major public construction project and the public should have confidence in a company such as yours, that it puts its environmental responsibilities at the fore of everything that it does and you say it does," she told Legendre. "On this occasion, you fell short."

Magistrate Shaw fined the company at the highest level she could, ordering them to pay £10,000, which was paid immediately. 

Reacting to the decision, a spokesperson for Environmental Protection commented: “This case reinforces the need for contractors to actively reassess and react to changes in environmental risk on construction sites where site conditions and environmental factors are changing as development progresses. Whilst in this instance the investigation established the pollution did not result in significant environmental impact, visual impact from the pollution on the Marina was evident on a number of occasions.

"Legendre Contractors Limited had instigated various construction and environmental measures to try to manage the risk of pollution, however, site conditions proved more complex than Legendre expected resulting in these pollution events.  Upon identifying the pathway of the pollution, remedial works were actioned promptly, despite difficult site and environmental conditions."

The pollution risk had previously been the subject of debate in the States Chamber. 

 

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