Tyne & Wear based metal recycling company J&J Stanley has been fined £3,000 for polluting the air with chemical fumes.
Two years ago, the Police closed the roads around the site and advised locals to keep their doors and windows shut after the firm left a pile of aluminium waste uncovered and exposed to the elements, causing the chemical reaction.
J&J Stanley were sentenced at Newcastle Magistrates Court, where the company admitted to the offence of “depositing controlled waste in a manner likely to cause pollution or harm to human health”.
Sophie Webster, Environment Management Team Leader at the Environment Agency said: “The emission of the fumes affected residents and businesses and the emergency services spent valuable time and effort responding to the incident to ensure that people were not put at risk.
“The fine imposed by the court demonstrates the seriousness of environmental offences.”