SEPA identifies MoD as responsible for Dalgety Bay contamination

date28 June 2013

Following an investigation into the history of radioactive contamination at Dalgety Bay, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has today published a report which identifies the Ministry of Defence (MoD) as being responsible for the contamination.

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The Appropriate Persons report outlines the enquiries made during the investigation to establish the parties responsible for the Dalgety Bay site. SEPA’s investigation discovered the MoD had deposited a large amount of ash and clinker on the coast at Dalgety Bay before the town was developed and the erosion of those deposits has resulted in the radioactive sources present on the foreshore. Significant amounts of material remain buried on the coast and continue to erode through coastal processes and re-contaminate the foreshore areas.

The report details that if a formal route had been followed, SEPA would consider the MoD to be the sole‘Appropriate Person’ for the contamination.

The risks from the contamination at Dalgety Bay are currently being reduced by a number of measures at the site, including a voluntary monitoring and removal programme undertaken by the MoD. Following discussions between SEPA and the MoD, this programme will continue.

Ahead of publishing the report, SEPA provided an advance copy to the MoD and other members of the Dalgety Bay Forum, which includes representatives of local stakeholder groups.  The Agency will be meeting with the MoD at the end of July to discuss long term management options and associated timescales, while further engagement with the local community and other affected parties will also be scheduled. In the interim, the established monitoring and recovery programme at the beach will continue which, together with other existing management arrangements, offers a suitable level of protection for the public.

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

The Appropriate Persons report was necessary to clarify responsibilities for the contamination at Dalgety Bay and determine which parties need to address the issue. A lot of work has been put into compiling the report and it, along with the previous Risk Assessment report, represents another significant step forward to resolving the situation at Dalgety Bay.

“Our aim is to reach a conclusion that will benefit all parties, particularly the local community, and we will be discussing all possible options with the MoD in order to agree a robust, long-term management strategy for addressing the contamination.”


Notes to Editor