Aberdeen bypass firm pays £280,000 pollution penalty
Contractors agree to financial settlement after allowing silt to contaminate rivers.
The contractor building the Aberdeen bypass will pay a penalty of more than £280,000 after polluting two rivers.
It comes after the consortium behind the £745m Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route caused silt pollution in the Dee and Don between 2015 and 2017.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) used new enforcement powers to secure the money for communities affected by the pollution, as well as almost £50,000 extra to cover the cost of investigations.
Sepa said the Construction Joint Venture (CJV) gave the funding in an 'offer of enforcement undertaking' - a formal offer by an organisation to make amends for an offence by improving the environment or communities affected.
Agency chief executive Terry A'Hearn said: "We are delighted that CJV has become one of the first operators to use the new enforcement undertaking.
"The CJV has stepped forward, accepted responsibility and set out to put things right.
"An enforcement undertaking not only compels those who breach the law to make amends, it instils a more positive working relationship based on understanding the duty we all share in safeguarding our natural environment".
'We are delighted that CJV has become one of the first operators to use the new enforcement undertaking.'Sepa chief executive Terry A'Hearn
A total of eight local initiatives will benefit from the cash, with the largest sum of £150,000 going to the Dee District Salmon Fishery Board for schemes to diffuse pollution.
Its chairman, Richard Gledson, said: "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 salmonidae fish and fresh water pearl mussels, which rely on a delicate ecosystem 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."