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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 June, 2003, 16:38 GMT 17:38 UK
Watchdog names top polluters
Grangemouth
BP's Grangemouth plant was fourth on the list of polluters
A register of Scotland's biggest polluters has been published by the country's environmental watchdog.

Plants run by ScottishPower and BP were among those at the top of the list.

The figures have been compiled by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) for the first time to comply with a new European directive.

They showed that 36 types of pollutant were discharged from 108 sites in Scotland.

Carbon dioxide accounted for more than a quarter of the 26.7m tonnes of pollutants emitted to the air, the 31,212 tonnes released into water and the 11,846 tonnes to sewers.

The other substances released into the environment last year included lead, mercury and arsenic.

Power station

ScottishPower's Longannet power station at Kincardine, Fife, was named as the biggest polluter in the country.

It pumped out 11.1m tonnes of pollution last year.

That was more than three times the amount released from the Peterhead power station north of Aberdeen, operated by Scottish and Southern Energy, which was placed second on the list.

Duncan McLaren
The damage that has been done over the years to the environment and human health may never be known
Duncan McLaren
Friends of the Earth Scotland

ScottishPower's Cockenzie power station in East Lothian was rated third, with the BP oil complex at Grangemouth in fourth place.

The top 10 also included the Lafarge cement works at Dunbar in East Lothian and ExxonMobil's Mossmoran operation in Fife.

Sepa published a separate list ranking sites by the toxicity rather than volume of the pollution created.

It was topped by SmithKline Beecham's pharmaceutical plant at Irvine in Ayrshire, followed by chemicals companies Avecia, at Grangemouth, and ISP Alginates, at Girvan in Ayrshire.

Friends of the Earth Scotland's chief executive, Duncan McLaren, said his organisation had campaigned for the publication of the information.

Industrial polluters

"For too long, too many companies have been getting away with excessive pollution, simply because they knew the public was being kept in the dark over emissions," he said.

"Now, for the very first time in Scotland, the ordinary person will have the power to confront industrial polluters head on."

Mr McLaren described the overall picture as "very alarming".

"The damage that has been done over the years to the environment and human health may never be known," he said.

The measures we have taken to ensure good dispersion means that the stations have a far smaller impact on local air quality than, for example, road traffic
ScottishPower spokesman

However, a Sepa spokeswoman stressed that none of the companies had breached pollution limits.

"I don't think we are surprised by the figures because we work with the companies daily and we would not be doing our jobs properly if we were," she said.

A spokesman for Scottish Power said it was "inevitable" that Longannet and Cockenzie would feature in the lists because they were among the biggest plants of their kind in Scotland.

"The measures we have taken to ensure good dispersion means that the stations have a far smaller impact on local air quality than, for example, road traffic," he said.

A BP spokesman added: "As the largest industrial unit in Scotland, it would not be surprising that we are up in that list.

"We publish our data freely and are monitored by Sepa."


SEE ALSO:
Courts 'hitting polluters harder'
22 May 03  |  Scotland


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