First major enforcement undertaking secures more than £280,000 of environmental benefits

Posted: Monday 22nd January 2018

Over £280,000 has been committed to community projects and environmental improvements across Aberdeenshire, following the use of a new enforcement power by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) to accept an offer of an enforcement undertaking.

Following extensive investigations and enforcement action by SEPA between 2015 and 2017, the Construction Joint Venture (CJV) building the multi-million pound Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) have offered the funding in an Offer of Enforcement Undertaking, after causing a series of silt pollution incidents which affected Aberdeenshire rivers, the Dee and the Don.

The Enforcement Undertaking admits full liability by the AWPR B-T Construction Joint Venture (CJV) for the pollution and will result in the funding being divided between eight community initiatives as a penalty for the disruption and environmental impact.

Aberdeen Roads Limited is constructing the new 36-mile road which will provide a fast link between towns between the North, South and West of Aberdeen.

The offer, which required the Construction Joint Venture to engage with local stakeholders, has been formally accepted by SEPA, thus securing one of the biggest financial outcomes for an environmental offence in Scotland. It is only the fourth of its kind to be accepted by SEPA.

Granted as a new enforcement power in June 2016, an Enforcement Undertaking represents a formal offer by an organisation or individual to make amends for an offence by improving the environment or communities affected, using their own resources. The new enforcement power can be used to bring about effective and immediate solutions to environmental offences and requires the offender to work with SEPA to ensure ongoing compliance in future, as well as making appropriate restitution.

The biggest beneficiary of the undertaking is the Dee District Salmon Fishery Board, who will receive £112,500 for improvement projects relating to diffuse pollution, and £37,500 to fund an Agricultural Officer for 2 years to assist farm owners in reducing diffuse pollution in the River Don.

Richard Gledson, Chairman, Dee District Salmon Fisheries Board, commented:

"Silt pollution from the construction of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route gave us great cause for concern, particularly as the River Dee is designated as a special habitat for both salmonid fish and fresh water pearl mussels, which rely on a delicate eco-system to feed and spawn.

"We welcome both the immediate response by SEPA, including the temporary restriction of construction activity, their investigation, and today's enforcement undertaking. This will provide for environmental improvements that will go some way to offsetting the impact on local communities and the environment."

In addition to the funding for community and environmental benefits, SEPA will also recover £47,958 as part of the offer. This lump sum will be made by the CJV as a contribution towards the time spent investigating the various pollution incidents which resulted from their construction works.




Read the magazine online

November 2018

About the magazine »
Magazine archive »


Advertisements

Information for advertisers »

Sykes Pumps
Pulsar Button June 13 Prominent Fluid Controls Water Aid British Water Huber buttonwood marketing Harvey Communications Verder wateractive
Grundfos 2018