The debrief: How SEPA secured a £280,000 enforcement undertaking

In December the Scottish environmental regulator obtained its largest enforcement undertaking yet under powers introduced in 2016, Gareth Simkins reports

Road works sign
Construction of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route ran into problems after silt polluted tributaries of the Donn and Dee rivers 

Just before Christmas the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) announced it had secured its largest civil sanction to date last summer. The £280,850 enforcement undertaking – essentially a way for businesses to avoid prosecution for environmental offences by offering recompense for the harm caused – was offered in June by a road-building joint venture for water pollution offences committed while building a bypass around Aberdeen (see box and map, below). The group responsible – AWPR B-T Construction Joint Venture (AWPR CJV) – was made up of engineering firms Morrison Construction, Balfour Beatty and Carillion (before its recent collapse).

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