‘Watchdog must sort out Lanark Loch pollution’

Pollution at the Loch earlier this month
Pollution at the Loch earlier this month
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Demands have been made for Scotland’s environmental ‘watchdog’ to finally get a grip on the scourge of pollution in Lanark Loch.

Some are now claiming that for years SEPA, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, has been totally ineffective in its efforts to prevent oil and chemicals leaking into the loch from the nearby Caldwellside Industrial Estate.

A fortnight ago the Gazette reported on the outcry following the latest incident when stretches of the loch were turned a murky white by an unidentified fluid. One frequent lochside walker, Edward Gordon of Lanark, said this week that SEPA admitted that it had been investigating incidents “for years”, mainly diesel spills he said occurs “four or five times a month”.

He went on: “It seems incredible that this has been allowed to go on for years without a successful solution being found. I was informed that SEPA had been in contact with Caldwellside Industrial Estate and made a few recommendations to some of the occupants. The information passed on to me would suggest that these recommendations were implemented but it is obvious that this has had no effect at all on the problem. It is time someone treated this as a serious problem and dealt with it immediately.”

A SEPA spokesman said: “We are aware of recurring pollution issues in Lanark Loch and extensive investigations have previously been undertaken to identify the potential sources and pathways by which discharges can enter the water. While initially successful, these investigations have been renewed in recent months, in partnership with a number of agencies, with the aim of limiting and preventing future incidents occurring.”