No permit lands Leeds dry cleaners in hot water

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A Leeds dry cleaning company found itself in hot water after failing to apply for a proper environmental permit.

Yorkshire Laundry and Dry Cleaning, based in Horsforth, was found to be negligent in operating the business without the documentation, when it was prosecuted before magistrates last month.

Dry cleaners that use solvents are required by law to get a permit from the council, to ensure all emissions are properly controlled during the cleaning process.

The company failed to comply with regulations, only submitting an incomplete application for a permit in March, after reminders from environmental health officers following up an initial request in late 2014.

Having pleaded guilty, its owners were fined £250 and ordered to pay more than £1,600 to cover costs and a victim surcharge.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for environmental protection and community safety, said: “Environmental permits aren’t just pieces of paper – they are legal requirements to ensure that as a responsible business, you have the right people and processes in place to keep your customers, neighbours and the environment safe.

“The council regulates hundreds of businesses in Leeds, keeping them up to speed with the mandatory requirements.

“Our officers are willing to work with people as we want businesses to thrive. But we can’t allow non-compliance and will pursue people through the courts if we have to.”

Regulating emissions from industrial processes forms part of the council’s wider air quality strategy.

Environmental health officers look at drainage, how chemicals are stored, used and disposed of, training for people who operate machinery and maintenance of the kit.

Anyone who wants help or advice can speak to the environmental health team on 0113 395 1414.