The dilapidated tank was left on land not protected by an impermeable barrier, so it leaked spreading into nearby fields and drainage.

Shetland based, MK Leslie Limited, a construction company was fined £3,500 this week (25 February) for the spill which also polluted the East Voe at Scalloway.

The firm, based at Staney Hill Quarry, Lerwick, pled guilty to carrying out ‘an activity liable to cause pollution’ by using a fork lift to move an unbunded, single skinned, corroded oil storage tank onto a surface not protected by an impermeable barrier.

About 2000 litres of lupricating oil leaked from the tank when it ruptured pouring into the ground which then entered a sub-surface drainage system.

This ran into a neighbouring field and then into ditches, ultimately ending up in the East Voe.

Following complaints from several members of the public about oil in the East Voe, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) staff went to the scene and traced the source back to the firm.

Staff from Shetland Islands Council had to clean up the heavily contaminated site.

SEPA investigating officer, Duncan Goudie, said: “Failure to provide bunding for this oil tank and to carry out appropriate maintenance on the tank resulted in the pollution.

“We 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.”

Luke Walsh

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