Four hundred gallons of refinery vacuum gas oil leaked into Southampton Water in Hampshire, a protected area and the playground of the sailing fraternity in the south of England. Esso pleaded guilty and was fined £10,000. The incident, which happened on the 20th June 2010, was the result of a faulty pipe allowing two cubic meters of oil to leak into the Southampton waters. The area is highly sensitive in environmental terms, and although Esso implemented pollution contamination measures some of the oil escaped leading to the shell fisheries being closed as a precaution. There were no reports of fish deaths or oiled seabirds, however as this is not the first incident involving similar spills from Esso magistrates presiding over the case felt the company were not maintaining the pipe work to the agreed standards. Esso have since carried out a full inspection of the pipe work following instruction from the Environment Agency and have reportedly spent a further £150,000 on the cleanup of the pollution in the area.
About the author
Begonia FilgueiraRead articles by Begonia
Begonia is a specialist in Environmental Law, governance and negotiation. Her career now spans 20 years having started as an environmental lawyer in the City. She is a dually qualified UK Solicitor and Spanish Abogada who provides legal advice, trains professionals and carries out complex research in the areas of International and EU environmental law. She also advises on treaty negotiations and implementation of EU law. Begonia has advised UNEP, UNDP, the European Commission, DEFRA and DOENI. She also advises industry and NGOs on environmental policy and regulation. BREXIT negotiations is her current area of specialism.