Politics: Scottish Government must provide clarity over Tarbolton Landfill
More than 8 months after Tarbolton Landfill’s owners entered liquidation, MSP Brian Whittle has challenged the First Minister to take action in the face of growing concerns by local residents about the condition of the site.
Since the landfill closed its gates, there have been questions about who is responsible for dealing contaminated runoff and other hazards that would normally be managed by the site’s owner.
After local residents raised concerns about smells coming from the landfill and indications that there may be contaminated water running off the site, Brian took up the issue with SEPA, and the Scottish Government.
However, unable to get a clear answer about who ultimately has responsibility and power to step in, and make the site safe, the South Scotland MSP raised the issue at Holyrood during First Minister’s questions.
In response to his question, Nicola Sturgeon said:
“I am not able to give that information to Brian Whittle right now. I undertake to raise the issue with the environment secretary and to come back to Brian Whittle as quickly as possible about our understanding of the lines of accountability and the action that the Scottish Government can take to try to reach a resolution of what certainly seems to be a deeply unsatisfactory situation.
I can understand that people in the local area will be very concerned about any prospect of contamination and it is absolutely necessary that all relevant agencies and organisations respond as quickly as possible.”
Speaking later, Brian Whittle MSP said:
“The situation with the Tarbolton Landfill has been allowed to drag on for too long already. Aside from the obvious concerns local residents have, it’s troubling that there doesn’t appear to be a clearly defined process for when the operator of a site like this is no longer able to carry out their duties to protect the surrounding environment.
I hope the First Minister will be able to provide some much needed clarity on this issue.”