Scotland's first special site

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency has designated Scotland's first "special" site under the contaminated land regime. This follows Aberdeenshire Council's determination of the factory site in Turiff where solvents are contaminating the groundwater.

The 4.4 ha site, which houses the Pelikan Hardcopy Scotland ink factory, was determined as contaminated land in August. The council identified five pollutant linkages to groundwater in total, with trichloroethene and toluene found to be leaching and migrating into the sedimentary layers below.

The site was investigated over a lengthy period. The contamination of controlled waters by list 1 substances under the contaminated land regime made it a candidate for special site status. SEPA is now the enforcing authority at the site.

A former Carless oil refinery site in Clydebank was also put up for special site status in July 2003. But SEPA questioned the extent of the determined site and the issue was referred to ministers, who have still to make a decision.

Aberdeenshire has been one of the most proactive local authorities in Scotland in enforcing the contaminated land regime.

The Turiff site is its third determination, with a coastal landfill and adjoining dunes and beach at Bridge of Don determined in 2004.

Scotland has only three other determined sites. These include the Carless site, which comes under Moray Council, and a further two sites that come under West Dumbartonshire Council.

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