Monday, January 22, 2018

SEPA and the oil rigs - local comment

This observer was having a wee blether today with John Hart and he made reference to recent press coverage of a SEPA intervention in the Cromarty Firth. Here's the BBC coverage "Sepa halts movement of rigs from Cromarty Firth"

He later sent us a copy of a letter he has sent to the Times:


It is interesting how proactive the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) can be when it wants to (Oil rigs prevented from leaving firth over fears for environment). No doubt a press release was issued to advertise SEPA’s so called “environmental protection” credentials, which are easy to espouse when the environment they are purporting to protect is in fact no where near the Cromarty Firth and more importantly the Moray Firth that adjoins it.

And yet, perversely, SEPA remains entirely mute on two important local environmental dangers. 

Firstly, the pollution of Nairn’s beaches (a town on the A96 not the A95 - the map is incorrect; opposite the Cromarty Firth) caused by an ineffective sewerage plant, badly served by inadequate pipelines to it, due to a lack of infrastructure investment.

Secondly, the Cromarty Port Authorities avowed intent to submit a planning application to allow ‘ship-to-ship oil transfers’ in the Moray Firth at the mouth of the Cromarty Firth.

We are constantly fed the line that Scottish agencies do not have jurisdiction on matters relating to ship-to-ship oil transfers, because they are not devolved and can only be ruled by London. Yet the converse appears to be the case when the agency is ruling on environmental issues totally out of its own jurisdiction."