Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Criminal Investigation into Waste Firm over Stockpile of Body Parts; PROBE AFTER ENVIRONMENT AGENCY WARNINGS IGNORED

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Criminal Investigation into Waste Firm over Stockpile of Body Parts; PROBE AFTER ENVIRONMENT AGENCY WARNINGS IGNORED

Article excerpt

Byline: JONATHAN WALKER Political editor jon.walker@reachplc.com @jonwalker121

A BUSINESS that built up stockpiles of body parts and other medical waste faces a criminal investigation.

Healthcare Environmental Services (HES) is reported to have allowed amputated limbs, infectious liquids, material linked to cancer treatment and hazardous pharmaceutical waste to build up in huge stockpiles.

Sites where there are concerns include the firm's Newcastle facility in the North Tyneside Industrial Estate.

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: "Healthcare Environmen tal Services remains in breach of its environmental permits at six sites including at its clinical waste treatment and transfer station at Chollerton Drive, North Tyneside. Our enforce ment action to clear the excess waste continues.

"We have taken a range of action against the company but it has repeat edly breached permits and contin ued to operate unlawfully. As a result, in addition to our enforcement activity to clear the sites, we are undertaking a crimi nal investigation. "Our teams have taken action to attend the compa ny's We have range against the but it has breached Environment sites to ensure they are locked and not accessible to the public. Our officers are carrying out regular inspections to monitor the security of each site."

It came after the Environment Agency issued an enforcement notice for the HES Newcastle site, ordering the firm to clear "excess waste" at the facility.

The Scottish Environment Protec tion Agency has also launched an investigation to establish if criminal offences have been committed at HES sites in Dundee and Shott.

taken a of action company repeatedly permits Agency Last year, the Health Service Jour nal revealed that excess waste inc luding human body parts reach ed 350 tonnes at the firm's facility in Normanton, West Yorkshire - five times more than the compaBy ny's 70 tonne limit. Health Minister Stephen Hammond said the Department for Health was concerned "that a number of waste storage and treatment sites were well over the permitted levels. …

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