Envirotec

Oil leak from ageing landfill

INVESTIGATIONS have been launched by both Aberdeenshire Council and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency into reports of oil spotted leaking from the ageing Blackdog landfill site, near Aberdeen, into the North Sea.

On 12 January the Press & Journal reported on oil residue sightings by dog walkers and local residents around the mile-long stretch of coast, which is close to the A90 and Blackdog Rock.
The landfill site is believed to have been used for dumping purposes from the 1930s until the 1980s.
A representative of the local residents association, Edna Booth, told the Press & Journal she believed the source of the pollution to be drilling mud that had been poured into the site about 30 years ago.
She said: “It is running down into the sea. I think this coast has taken quite a battering from the last six or seven days and it is an ongoing situation.
The beach was the worst she could remember seeing it, she said, and it presented a hazard to those with pets as “the stuff coming out is a big, gluey mess”. Booth claimed local residents had tried in the past to get the council to do something.
Aberdeenshire Council’s head of protective services, Belinda Miller, confirmed that oil is currently being released at extreme high tide from contaminated sands located at depth below the foot of the dunes. She described it as “an episodic event” which has not occurred to this extent for several years.
“Recent unprecedented rainfall has caused the water table within the dunes to rise to the extent that a pre-existing depression is now flooded with contaminated water. This is expected to be of short duration.
Miller added that Blackdog is privately-owned and not a council landfill site. “We continue to work with the previous operators, current owners and Sepa to find a solution to prevent further hydrocarbon contamination.”

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