Skip to main content

Tesco hit with £8 million fine following pollution incident

Tesco Stores Ltd was ordered to pay £8 million in fines and costs following a pollution incident in July 2014.

Tesco Stores Ltd was ordered to pay £8 million in fines and costs following a pollution incident in July 2014. £5 million of this was as a result of the health and safety offence and £3 million of the fine was for the environmental offence.

The Environment Agency’s joint investigation with partners found that the incident was caused by Tesco failing to address a problem with part of the fuel delivery system. An inadequate alarm system was exacerbated by inadequate emergency procedures.

Over two days in July 2013, around 23,500 litres of petrol escaped from a petrol filling tank at a petrol station in a Tesco petrol station in Haslingden.

Odours affected residents up to 1km away and remained in homes for a number of days, causing people to seek medical attention with headaches and sickness. The incident caused residents to leave their homes due to petrol odours coming from the sewer network.

Some petrol entered local rivers, killing fish and other aquatic life. Anglers reported dead fish in Bury, over six miles downstream.

The case highlights the responsibilities of companies to have adequate environmental protection in place at all parts of its production and supply process.

More information on this case can be found at gov.uk.