LONDON (CelebrityAccess) — Organizers for the Glastonbury festival have admitted violating environmental regulations after human waste from the festival site made its way into a nearby river, killing fish.
According to The Guardian, the most significant release in 2014 occured when a steel tank used to store waste on the site sprang a leak, leading to a "large quantity" of sewage leaking into the the river Whitelake, causing harm to fish and water quality.
Sensors in the stream detected increased levels of ammonia, prompting regulators to launch a prosecution against the festival company.
"In 2014 the tank sprung a leak in one of the joins between the steel plates and the base of the tank,” Prosecuting Kieran Martyn told a district court judge. “Around 28 June , that leak developed and allowed a very large quantity of sewage to get into a farm ditch and from there into the Whitelake river.
“It caused significant harm to both the fish and the water quality.”
According to The Guardian, Martyn claimed that the offence was classified as 'category one' and was seeking fines ranging from £55,000 to £300,000.
Kerry Gwyther, representing the festival, downplayed the severity of the sewage excursion, stating that environment reports indicated that the stream already had a history of pollution, that the reported fish deaths occured downstream and that there was no post-mortem testing of the fish to determine the actual cause of death.
Gwyther described the leak as “very small” and noted that the manufacturer and installer of the tank described it as a "freak accident."
In a statement released by the festival, a spokesperson characterized the leaks as regretable and said the festival was working with all all stakeholders, including the Environment Agency, on ways to prevent and safeguard against any problems in the future.
"Substantial improvement work on the site’s infrastructure has already begun and will continue over the coming months. At the same time, the Festival will again work rigorously with all of its contractors and staff to raise awareness of the environmental issues involved and the importance of preventing further incidents," the festival's statement said. – Staff Writers