Thursday, 28 February 2013

Two company directors admit destroying a population of Endangered Freshwater pearl mussels in Scotland

Hydro scheme firm fined a derisory £4,000 for Perth river pollution
February 2013. A hydro scheme company was fined just £4,000 (Maximum potential fine of £160,000) at Perth Sheriff Court for permitting its contractors to carry out illegal work in Scotland's River Lyon.

Shawater Limited was fined after pleading guilty to permitting the contractor to carry out work without the authority of a licence under the Water Environment (Controlled Activities) Regulations 2011 (commonly known as a CAR licence). The Regulations are intended to protect Scotland's water environment.

Shawater Limited obtained the required CAR licence from Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), but this did not include permission to construct a pipeline, ford and access track. Shawater Limited had representatives on site during the work, but did not prevent their contractors carrying out un-licenced work. They also did not ensure that adequate measures were in place to prevent excess silt entering the watercourse.

Sheriff Michael Fletcher considered these deficiencies serious for two reasons. There was inadequate protection of the river repeatedly over a lengthy period and the project was carried out on a river system where it was known that wildlife would be affected, and there was an expectation that the works would be carried out with extra care.

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