Edinburgh salvage yard owner fined for oil pollution

  13 June 2014
The owner of a Newbridge salvage yard was fined £8,000 at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday (12 June 2014) after a tributary of the River Almond was polluted with oil from the site.

Hamish Edward Thomson Irvine, trading as Sports Car Breakers, pled guilty to causing pollution of the water environment after discharging oil, via an oil interceptor, to an unnamed tributary of the River Almond.

The incident was investigated by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and a report sent to the Procurator Fiscal.

SEPA first became aware of the issue in November 2011 when City of Edinburgh Council workers contacted them about finding sediment heavily contaminated with oils while dredging the tributary. Due to the proximity of the Sports Car Breakers site, SEPA officers visited to ascertain whether this was the source.

When officers inspected the site on 17 January they found that oil was discharging from the outfall.

Graeme Brown, SEPA’s investigating officer, said:

Mr Irvine was initially made aware of the discharge in November 2011 and was told to propose steps to cease the discharge, which has the potential to cause a significant and long lasting negative environmental impact.  The work to install a new oil interceptor tank and upgrade the drainage arrangements on the site didn’t take place until late March 2012.

“We hope that this prosecution and fine serves as a warning to the entire waste management industry that flagrant breaches of legislation like this will not be tolerated. While we will work with individuals and companies to provide them with the advice that they need to meet their environmental responsibilities, we will not hesitate to use our powers if required, and to report sites and owners to the Procurator Fiscal when other attempts have failed.”


Notes to editors

The exact charges that Hamish Irvine pled guilty to was is:

  • Between 17 January 2012 and 24 January 2012 both dates inclusive at Claylands, Newbridge, Edinburgh, EH28 8EZ you, Hamish Edward Thomson Irvine, trading as Sports Car Breakers, did carry on a controlled activity, namely an activity liable to cause pollution of the water environment, in that you did discharge oil via an oil interceptor to an unnamed tributary of the River Almond  thereby causing an impact on the watercourse without the authority of an authorisation under the aftermentioned Regulations; CONTRARY to the Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2011 Regulation 4 and 44(1)(a) and the Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003 Section 20(3)(a)