A COMPANY was fined £4,000 by Huddersfield magistrates for polluting a watercourse.
Peter Duffy Ltd, civil engineering contractors, of Connaught House, Park View, Lofthouse, near Wakefield, pleaded guilty.
The firm was also ordered to pay £833.78 costs to the Environment Agency, which brought the case.
Trevor Cooper, prosecuting for the agency, said that after a report from a member of the public on June 14, 2005, officers visited a stream near Parkside in Scholes, near Holmfirth.
They found that the stream, a tributary of New Mill Dyke, was brown and appeared to contain silt.
Also, the bed of the stream was coated in brown sediment.
Mr Cooper said that at a building site at the nearby former Lee Mills an excavator was pulling material from the base and banks of a culvert.
This was the source of the pollution.
In a subsequent interview the defendants said they had been carrying out work on the culvert when the bank had collapsed, causing debris to fall into the watercourse.
Two days after the incident it was found that silt to 2in deep had coated the bed of the stream for a distance of more than 100 yards.
The company had failed to notify the Environment Agency after the incident occurred.
In mitigation, it was said that it was the company's first offence and had an exemplary environmental and safety record.
This was a failure by site management to implement the correct procedures.