William Forest & Son (Paisley) entered a guilty plea at Hamilton Sheriff Court after the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) brought a case against the company for failing to take sufficient action to stop contaminating a stream.

In June 2005, SEPA had reason to believe that unauthorised discharges were being made from the Newarthill site to the Tillan Burn.

SEPA wrote to the company to advise that immediate action should be taken by them to prevent unauthorised discharges. Further inspections resulted in a final warning letter being issued to the company.

A site visit on 12 August 2005 revealed significant fungal growths together with several dead brown trout in the stream.

During this inspection a polluting discharge was witnessed from the site and samples of the discharge were taken together with samples of the Tillan Burn, upstream and downstream of the discharge point.

The investigations found that the unauthorised discharge had a polluting effect on the watercourse and severely downgraded the quality of the Tillan Burn in the area below the rendering plant.

SEPA’s Duncan Robertson, lead water specialist for the site, said: “It was disappointing that the company took no action to stop unauthorised discharges of polluting water entering the Tillan Burn after SEPA brought the problem to their attention.

“The result is that the quality of water has suffered, as has the aquatic life.

“Pollution of the environment by any industry will not be tolerated. SEPA will take action against any company who operate outside the boundaries of environmental legislation and will use the powers available to us to protect and improve the environment.”

Sam Bond

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