| Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise


Download our free Bridge Coating Systems eResource Book

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

UK Ship Company Fined for Paint Waste

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

More items for Environmental Controls

More items from Europe

Comment | More

A ship repair company in the United Kingdom was fined after it released toxic waste paint into a protected environmental area, the local government announced.

A&P Falmouth Ltd. was fined £10,000 ($15,364 USD), with costs of over £14,000 ($21,509.60 USD) awarded to the Environment Agency and Cornwall Council, the local authority for Cornwall, England, after the company pleaded guilty to an 'Environmental Permitting' Regulations offense at a hearing held in Truro Magistrates Court on July 5, the Cornwall Council announced.

A&P Falmouth operates a ship repair business that includes stripping paint from vessels and applying new surface coatings in dry dock.

A&P Falmouth
A&P Falmouth

A UK ship repair company was recently fined after pleading guilty to releasing waste paint containing copper, zinc, lead and tributyltin into an environmentally protected area.

The guilty plea stemmed from an incident on Sept. 29, 2011, when waste paint containing toxic substances was unintentionally discharged into the Fal Estuary from the Queen Elizabeth Dry Dock.

Several Toxic Substances Leaked

The paint discharge caused a visible plume, approximately the size of a "football pitch," which is a playing field that can range from 100 to 130 yards in length and 50 and 100 yards in width, according to BBC Sport.

The plume contained toxic substances including tributyltin, copper, zinc and lead.

"It is extremely rare for enforcement action to be taken against businesses carrying out activities requiring a permit because the vast majority recognise the importance of fulfilling their environmental and legal responsibilities," said Rebecca Kirk, Cornwall Council Assistant Head of Service for Community and Environmental Protection.

"However, in this particular instance A&P Falmouth fell significantly short of this standard by failing to meet the requirements of their permit. This meant that there was little option but to take enforcement action, as is the public expectation in such cases especially where the release of toxic subtances in the environment are concerned," Kirk said.

RFA Cardigan Bay

A&P Falmouth was using ultra-high-pressure waterjetting to remove coatings from the RFA Cardigan Bay class ship, a Royal Fleet Auxilliary vessel, when it released the toxic paint waste.

The estuary is part of a Special Area of Conservation, a European designation to protect rare and threatened wildlife, and is close to Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a conservation designation for a protected area in the UK.

Company Apologizes

The waste paint discharged into the estuary was from the RFA Cardigan Bay, which was in dry dock for a complete refit, including removal of antifouling paint from the entire hull using ultra-high-pressure waterjetting prior to recoating.

RFA Cardigan Bay class ship is a Royal Fleet Auxilliary vessel that delivers the Royal Navy, can support the Royal Marines and can assist in disaster and humanitarian relief.

For this type of work, a permit is required under environmental legislation, which is issued and regulated by the Public Health and Protection Service (PH&P) or Cornwall Council. The permit contains conditions to ensure that pollution is prevented and/or controlled and includes conditions related to discharges to water drafted by the Environment Agency.

The incident was reported anonymously, and an Environment Agency officer took a boat out on the estuary to take samples of the water.

A&P Falmouth apologized for the incident and stated that it was an isolated occurence cause by washing out paint sludge that had fallen onto the floor of the dry dock.

"A&P takes its envirnmental responsibilities very seriously and our activities are strictly regulated. We deeply regret and apologise for this accidental discharge and have taken steps to ensure that it will not happen again," said Peter Child, A&P Falmouth managing director, the Falmouth Packet reported.

The company has since taken measures to prevent any similar incidents from occuring, according to the Cornwall Council.


Tagged categories: Enforcement; Environmental Protection; Shipyards; UHP waterjetting

Comment from Gordon Kuljian, (7/23/2013, 2:37 PM)

Unfortunate occurrence. UHPWJ is and has been a great technology for the ship repair insustry. Those utilizing it however must be trained in proper collection, disposal and treatment.

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Julbert, Inc.
Built from the ground up.

Dust Collectors Available!
We deliver to your Jobsite!
Built Tough! Priced Right!
PH: 208-437-2100

Graco Inc.
Graco Mortar Pump

The M680 sprays epoxy-based mortars, anti-skid coatings, cementitious and filled materials. Compact.
Easy to use.
Call 877-844-7226 or

SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings
SSPC 2016 Register Now!

SSPC2016 is earlier this year, don't forget to book your plane tickets and hotel. See you soon. For more information visit

Nationwide Overspray
Profession Overspray Removal Services

The Finest Name in Safe Overspray Removal. We specialize in removing all contaminants from any surface. Family Owned and Operated for 33 years! Fully insured. Satisfaction is guaranteed.

Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc. (SEH)

Climate Control...delivered.

Temporary climate control equipment. Dehumidifiers,
Heaters, A/C, Power, More…
Call: 866-379-2600

Apex Waterjetting Technologies
Waterjetting – Custom Manufacturing and Wholesale

• Waterjet Accessories
• Saphire Nozzles
• UHP Hoses
• Replacement Parts
• Wholesale Direct
• 24 Years of Experience
• Buy and Save!!!

Polyval Coatings
Polyflex® Polyurea Linings

Polyflex™ new Polyurea Geotextile Membrane System has been specifically engineered to protect the environment in containment applications.

Built for Tough Jobs

From Epoxies to Urethanes to other high solid coatings, the new Binks Airless 75 delivers a great finish using an ergonomic design. Visit for more information.

Atlantic Design, Inc.

The smallest version of our Blast Vacuum Recyclers, this ADI 2300CFM 2-Pot is a cleverly designed power package for those smaller jobs. 866.Call.ADI

Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker

EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us

© Copyright 2000-2015, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail