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Posted by Neil Brunskill
Police in the Yorkshire town of Beverley are appealing for information after a large quantity of red diesel was found dumped in a lake there last week.
A passerby noticed that the water in a balancing lake - a holding area for excess runoff before it drain off into ditches - had turned red on July 20th and notified police and the Environment Agency (EA).
Some 25 litres of the fuel was discovered in the York Road facility, which had caused it to become contaminated.
Some red diesel was also noticed on a fence nearby.
Enquiries have been launched into the matter and the EA said it is being treated as a criminal offence.
Anyone with information has been asked to contact Humberside Police using the non-emergency number.
Both individuals and businesses can be prosecuted if they are found to have dumped or allowed fuels such as red diesel to escape into water.
Last week, a spillage of several hundred litres was found in Wandle Park, Waddon, by contractors who had arrived to carry out work there, the Croydon Advertiser.
Work began to remove it immediately and fortunately a serious environmental disaster was averted.
Croydon Council and the EA looked into the incident and they now believe they have isolated the source. The business owner could now face a fine of £50,000, more than the £30,106 fine given to a Nottinghamshire company for polluting a lake last year.
Red diesel is a significant draw to thieves, who often try to sell the fuel on illegally after stealing it from agricultural or other business premises.
Just this week, more than 1,000 litres was taken from a Taylor Wimpey building site in Telford and police are now appealing for witnesses, according to This is Shropshire.
However, if criminals are unable to sell it on because local people have been alerted or because they believe the authorities are about to catch them, they sometimes choose to dump it in isolated locations and it can then filter down into water sources.
Red diesel customers are advised to carefully secure their supplies in the same way as they would for heating oil to prevent theft from occurring.
If you have been the victim of a heating oil theft in the last year, visit BoilerJuice's new oil theft watch service to make an anonymous report or to register for free oil theft alerts in your area.
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