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NORTH-EAST FARMER FINED FOR RIVER POLLUTION

21st January 2009

A north-east farmer was fined 2000 for allowing diesel to enter surface water drains and into a tributary of the River Ythan causing pollution of the river.

Mr Roger Glennie from the Hillhead of Ardo Farm, Methlick, Ellon pled guilty today (21 January 2009) to a contravention of legislation designed to protect the water environment.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard that the incident happened in January last year at Hillhead of Ardo Farm when diesel escaped from a diesel tank and flowed across the farm yard and entered a surface water drain in the yard. From the surface water drain the diesel discharged into a tributary of the River Ythan and then into the Ythan itself.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) carried out an investigation following complaints from members of the public who reported the presence of diesel in the River Ythan. A SEPA survey found dead invertebrates in the tributary of the river and it was considered that the diesel pollution was likely to have suffocated fauna in the water.

Following the conclusion of the case SEPA called on farmers to take care when dealing with diesel and to ensure that all tanks are suitably bunded. Guidance on the storage of oil and the prevention of pollution are available from SEPA.

Investigating officer Caroline Simmers said: "Failure to provide bunding for this diesel tank and to carry out appropriate maintenance on the tank resulted in the pollution of the River Ythan. SEPA regarded this as a serious incident and this view has been upheld by the court.

SEPA would urge members of the public to inform us of any pollution incident as soon as possible so that early investigations and effective action can be taken.
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SEPA's Colin Bayes, Director of Environmental Protection and Improvement said: "We want to help people avoid pollution and advice on how to do that is easily available from our staff, offices and www.sepa.org.uk. The NetRegs website, http://www.netregs.gov.uk/, also offers clear guidance on environmental rules and regulations. However, where pollution is significant or persistent, or is as a result of wilful or negligent actions, SEPA will use its enforcement powers to protect the environment for the benefit of all of Scotland's citizens.

"Importantly, if a pollution incident occurs, we urge anyone to let us know straight away by calling our 24 hour pollution report line, 0800 80 70 60, giving as many details as possible so effective action can be taken."

 

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