In the Update this week: Prosecutions, CAR practical guide and more
Tuesday 26 February 2013

Prosecutions, CAR practical guide and more

Angus farming company fined for illegal water works

We are reminding farmers and land managers that liaising with us before carrying out work in rivers could help them avoid ending up in court. The warning comes after a company was fined £500 at Arbroath Sheriff Court on 20 February 2013 after carrying out illegal work in an Angus burn.

D Geddes Farms Limited, was found guilty of carrying out engineering works, namely dredging the Gighty Burn during a period critical to the spawning of juvenile fish. The matter was investigated by us and reported to the Procurator Fiscal.

A report of silty water in the burn was received by us on 18 April 2011. When an officer investigated, he found a digger carrying out dredging of the burn. 

D Geddes Farms Limited had instructed D Geddes Contractors Limited to carry out these dredging works. The dredged section was noted to be approximately 850 metres in length. 

Stuart McGowan, our Dundee and Angus Unit Manager said: "While I'm satisfied with the outcome of this prosecution, it is likely that this case could have been avoided had the operator spoken with us prior to starting work.

"Dredging carried out in the wrong way can cause serious environmental harm, damage to fisheries and increased flooding downstream. However we do not want to impede farmers or landowners who want to improve field drainage."

To view the full release, visit our website.

Hydro scheme firm fined £4,000 for Perth river pollution

A hydro scheme company was fined £4,000 at Perth Sheriff Court on 18 February for permitting its contractors to carry out illegal work in the River Lyon.

Shawater Limited was fined after pleading guilty to permitting the contractor to carry out work without the authority of a licence under the Water Environment (Controlled Activities) Regulations 2011 (commonly known as a CAR licence). The regulations are intended to protect Scotland's water environment and have to be complied with by law. 

Directors from the two contractors, Perth based A & C Construction (Scotland) Limited and Chic Kippen and Son, pled guilty on 6 December 2012 to carrying out the works. Their sentence has been deferred until 19 March 2013.

Shawater Limited obtained the required CAR licence from us, but this did not include permission to construct a pipeline, ford and access track. Shawater Limited had representatives on site during the work, but did not prevent their contractors carrying out unlicenced work. They also did not ensure that adequate measures were in place to prevent excess silt entering the watercourse.

To view the full release, visit our website.

Update to the CAR practical guide

Amendments have been made to the CAR (Controlled Activities Regulations) practical guide in sections 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3. In particular there is an addition to the complex licence column of Table 4.
Version 6.1 of the CAR practical guide is available on our website.
Changes have been made to the guidance to reflect the requirement to obtain a complex licence for the construction of boreholes which drill to or below a depth of 200m. This will come into force on 1 April 2013.
For further information please visit our website.

Water Environment Fund closing dates

We are approaching the next round of closing dates for funding from the Water Environment Fund.
The next deadlines for applications for funding above £10,000 are 28 February and 3 May. Projects seeking less than £10,000 from the fund can be reviewed at any point during the year and are not subject to an application deadline.

The fund, which has contributed to work at both a local and national level, has provided funding to projects across the country since 2008 to improve rivers, streams, lochs, wetlands and coastal areas.

If you think you have a project that could benefit your local water environment, community and economy, why not apply for funding from Scotland's Water Environment Fund.

Projects should aim to improve the environmental status or condition of a water body by tackling the physical pressures on it.

Further information on the Water Environment Fund can be found on our website, including a summary of projects funded to date and details on how to apply.

Glasgow wastewater strategy launch event

On Monday 25 February, Scottish Water announced a 25 year programme of work that will involve more than £500 million of improvements to the wastewater infrastructure. The work will:
  • improve the natural environment of the Clyde and its tributaries;
  • enable the Greater Glasgow area to continue to grow and develop;
  • help tackle the effects of climate change;
  • alleviate flooding. 
The announcement took place at the Glasgow Science Centre and our Chairman gave a short presentation at the event, which was also attended by the Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP.

To inform the programme, our Operations and Science staff have been working closely with Scottish Water on the complex sewerage and water quality studies over the past four years, providing environmental and regulatory advice through the quality and standards process.

David Sigsworth, SEPA's Chairman, said: "This is an important step forward in improving the natural environment of the River Clyde and alleviating sewer flooding in Glasgow. The wastewater strategy aims to enhance water quality in around 43 miles of the Clyde and its tributaries, and help protect and improve biodiversity in the area.

“We have worked closely with Scottish Water to support the development of the long-term strategy for the Clyde catchment and to help create solutions which address the needs of the city. We look forward to further sustainable growth for the Greater Glasgow area in the coming years as the plans are implemented.”