SEPA agrees MOD plan for Dalgety Bay

date27 March 2012

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) announced at today's Dalgety Bay Forum that an investigation plan, including the development of remediation options, has been agreed with the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

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In November last year, SEPA set deadlines for MOD to provide a credible remediation plan for the area to prevent the need to designate Dalgety Bay as radioactive contaminated land, the first such designation in the UK. However, work carried out for SEPA over the winter months showed that the situation at the beach was more complicated than initially believed, and therefore a comprehensive investigation is required, before remediation options can be identified.

Dr James Gemmill, SEPA's Radioactive Substances Unit Manager, said:

We are satisfied that real progress is being made and, as a result, we will not be designating the beach at this time.

"A number of smaller investigations have been undertaken over a number of years, including SEPA's recent work on the headland area. This investigation work will provide a comprehensive look at the entire area and allow the development of remediation options.

"We must emphasise that once the plan is implemented, which we expect by the end of May 2013, SEPA will be in full possession of technical issues; including dumping areas, distribution of the hazard posed by radioactive material, impact of shore erosion, ownership history and therefore the responsible party or parties. We will also have reviewed remediation options and chosen the most appropriate. At that stage we will expect action to follow urgently. 

"We would prefer that the contamination at Dalgety Bay is dealt with on a voluntary basis so we can avoid the need for designation. However, SEPA can still designate the area at any time, depending on circumstances. This would be done if SEPA considers that work undertaken by MOD is inadequate, or further relevant information comes to light, or if there is no voluntary remediation following these investigations."

Ends

Notes to editors

  • A copy of the plan is available on SEPA's website.