Page last updated at 23:26 GMT, Thursday, 17 July 2008 00:26 UK

Review sought after fish deaths

Salmon smolts
The spill killed fish along the Whiteadder Water in the Borders

A fibre firm has been ordered to review procedures following a chemical spill which killed fish in a Borders river.

The Ahlstrom plant at Chirnside was traced as the source of chlorine which polluted the Whiteadder Water in December last year.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency has now told the firm to review and improve its chemical handling.

Ahlstrom said it regretted the leakage and was committed to minimising the environmental impact of its operations.

Sepa was called out to the Whiteadder Water on 18 December last year by a concerned member of the public who had spotted the dead fish.

Ahlstrom is currently working on the required reports and has already taken steps to prevent such accidental leakages occurring in future
Ahlstrom statement

It took samples along the affected two-kilometre stretch of water to establish the source and nature of the pollutant.

Investigations finally concluded that an uncontrolled release of chlorine from an effluent treatment plant was to blame.

"This was a result of a combination of component failure and inadequate process management," a Sepa spokeswoman said.

An enforcement notice has now been served on Ahlstrom which produces materials for tea bags and infusions.

It requires the company to undertake a review of the incident and propose remedial measures.

The firm will also need to review its on-site handling of chlorine.

Failure to comply with the enforcement notice could result in further action being taken.

'Environmental standards'

However, Sepa said it was satisfied that the release of effluent had been an "isolated incident".

A statement from Ahlstrom said it regretted the spillage but stressed no employees or members of the public had been at risk.

"Ahlstrom is currently working on the required reports and has already taken steps to prevent such accidental leakages occurring in future," it said.

It added that it was committed to meeting environmental standards and working with communities, customers and suppliers around the world to improve its operations.

"At a local level in Chirnside, Ahlstrom has made a number of investments to ensure its performance meets legislated guidelines," it concluded.


SEE ALSO
Jobs brewed up by tea bag scheme
20 Nov 07 |  South of Scotland
Jobs to go at Borders fibre firm
08 Mar 07 |  South of Scotland
Fibre firm makes 19m investment
13 Dec 06 |  South of Scotland

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2020 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific