Criminals illegally dumping waste in Lancashire have been warned that a team of skilled officers know where they are - and are coming to get them.
More than a quarter of a million pounds in fines was paid out in the North West last year by people and businesses who had illegally dumped waste.
The Environment Agency pursued 44 successful prosecutions in the region in 2011, for which £263,300 of fines were imposed. The highest was £50,000 and the average £6,929.
Illegal waste threatens the environment by potentially contaminating land and rivers with oil and toxic chemicals.
Unregulated waste sites pose a significant risk to human health and communities, threatening air quality with toxic fumes from illegally burnt materials and causing noise and odour problems.
An Environment Agency spokesman said: “If you’re involved in illegal waste activities, you should be looking over your shoulder and expecting a visit from our enforcement officers.
“A team of skilled officers know where you are and they’re coming to get you.”
Longridge company A & D Drains Services Limited and its director David Rodrigues were sentenced at Preston Crown Court last year after dumping dangerous waste into a sewage system.
Rodrigues, 47, of Barton Lane, Barton, Preston, admitted eight charges relating to the disposal of waste by his firm at Chapel Hill Industrial Estate in 2008 and 2009.
Four charges were related to illegal disposal of liquid waste and four were related to creating false paperwork to cover up the crime.
The firm was ordered to hand over £15,900 under the Proceeds of Crime Act and to pay combined fines of £40,000, including £22,500 costs to the Environment Agency.
The Environment Agency relies on the public and businesses to help identify waste crime culprits.
Anyone with information about suspected illegal waste operators should call 0800 80 70 60.