Johnstone: More information sought on Rannoch Road landfill

Renfrewshire Council officials have been urged to put more pressure on the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) to reveal information about an illegal landfill in Johnstone.

Member-elect John Hood tabled a motion at the latest council meeting urging bosses to further investigate the dump off Rannoch Road after water samples revealed high levels of toxic chemicals.

He received backing from fellow councillors, who also backed another motion put forward by James MacLaren calling on the local authority to write to SEPA and urge it to crack down on fly tipping in Renfrewshire.

Councilor Hood, who represents Johnstone South and Elderslie, said there was only action from the environmental regulator on the site when it featured on BBC Scotland’s Disclosure news series in January .

“I have been reporting this site to our senior officers for more than three and a half years,” said the mayor of Labour. “They went back and forth with SEPA but nothing happened.

“It took a TV program, Disclosure, for anything to happen and I think that’s absolutely shocking.”

Councilor Hood said many people living near the site have expressed fears about possible contamination.

During the meeting, council leader Iain Nicolson argued he had limited powers to investigate the site.

He said: “The question is how do we as a council get SEPA to use the powers they have and access the data they have in relation to the testing of the site, what their results are, etc.”

Kath McDowall, lead investigator for SEPA, said she takes organized waste crime “very seriously”.

She added: “Sites like Johnstone don’t appear by accident. The site does not have a permit authorizing waste deposits, but a large volume of waste has been illegally dumped over a long period of time, with potential impacts on our environment, communities and public funds.

“At SEPA, we are committed not only to fixing problems, but also to holding those responsible to account. Unfortunately, there is no simple solution to sanitation and we are working with the current owner to tackle the litter deposits. »

Anyone with information about illegally landfilled waste should call the SEPA hotline on 0800 80 70 60.

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