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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 June 2006, 18:59 GMT 19:59 UK
Three fined for river pollution
A council and two companies have been fined thousands of pounds after admitting their part in a toxic spill.

A leak of a pesticide killed tens of thousands of fish in the River Blackwater between Coggeshall and Kelvedon in Essex in 2002.

Guidelines on how to treat a spilt chemical were largely ignored, Chelmsford Crown Court heard.

Braintree District Council, Woodland International Transport, Coggeshall and Rentokil Initial were fined 234,000.

The Environment Agency brought the prosecution against the three - accusing them of allowing the chemical tributyltin, which is used to treat wood, to pollute the river.

Braintree District Council pleaded guilty at Chelmsford Crown Court on Wednesday to allowing the chemical to enter the water between 13 July 2002 and 31 August 2002 and received the largest fine of 88,000.

The two companies pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to the same charge and were each fined 73,000 respectively.

Tributyltin entered the water course after a drum containing the chemical which was being loaded at Anglia Cargo Terminal in Coggeshall split.

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