Thu 30 May, 2019

As Scottish Government Transport Secretary Michael Matheson today visits the Dalry bypass, Green MSP Ross Greer has written to the Scottish Government asking for action to be taken over a pollution problem that has led to dwindling salmon stocks in the River Garnock. Greer was contacted by Gordon Donaldson, a keen angler, who had been noticing and reporting problems since August last year. Gordon’s investigations revealed that the source of the pollution was a sump pool by the construction work on the new Dalry bypass, and he has gathered a wealth of photographic and video evidence to show that this is the origin of the problem and that the dirty water appears to flow into the river every time it rains.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency, SEPA, is responsible for regulating water quality and have attended the site on a number of occasions, but due to delays in their arrival, often a number of days after pollution has been reported, the rainfall has often stopped and the problem temporarily passed, leading to an end in their investigations.

Greer, Green MSP for the West of Scotland, commented:

“The problem is obvious. There are videos and photos, fishing enthusiasts are recording fewer catches and Ayrshire Rivers Trust confirm that they’ve noticed fish stocks suffering as a result of the dirty water. But if somebody’s out fishing on a rainy Saturday and reports a problem, SEPA don’t come until the next working week, and by then the evidence of pollution is no longer visible.

“It can’t be beyond SEPA’s capability to get around this. Surely they can anticipate rainy weather and plan a visit, or constantly monitor the water quality, or arrange an emergency call out when the next complaint comes in? The river is suffering at an alarming rate and SEPA need to step in to stop it."

Gordon Donaldson’s photographs and video can be found here.

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