Peel Ports ‘2017 Coal Migration Report’ findings are unacceptable for communities and environment #BluePlanet2

Fairlie Community Council is concerned by the ‘quasi-deccommisioned’ status of the Hunterston Coal Terminal and on going pollution that is impacting the Southannan SSSI. FCC reported the issue to Scottish Natural Heritage, Marine Scotland, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and the Clyde Marine Planning Partnership. In the spirit of community involvement in the participatory planning process we invited these organisations to visit Fairlie but they have failed to engage with our coastal community. Peel Port commissioned their own ‘Coal Migration Report‘ in a knee-jerk response to our concerns.  The findings and lack of effective recommendations are unacceptable to Fairlie Community Council and we are now calling for a rigorous environmental appraisal of Southannan SSSI and surrounding marine environment.

Please read the report  and comment at bottom of page:

Hunterston Coal Migration Report Sept 2017

Hunterston Coal Migration Report Sept 2017

Letter from Peelport:




One Reply to “Peel Ports ‘2017 Coal Migration Report’ findings are unacceptable for communities and environment #BluePlanet2”

  1. *Below is a reply from SNH concerning coal pollution from Hunterston which was received 8 months after incidents were reported*
    Dear Mr Nairn
    It is now some time  since you drew our attention to issues on the Southannan Sands and I would like to use this opportunity to provide an update of our investigations. As this issue primarily related to a potential pollution incident, we arranged to work with SEPA (lead body in relation to pollution) to look into this matter. A joint site visit was organised with Peel ports and SEPA in early August and we used your helpful report as a guide.
    The prolonged wet summer had resulted in large areas of surface water within the site and helped the understanding of the water movements and its drainage and discharge onto the SSSI.
    As we moved around the periphery of the coal yards, in the high tide zone, we identified a number of Issues in relation to surface discharges, litter and other materials escaping from the coal yards.  In addition we identified  materials that had been deliberately placed on the sands(car tyres and sections of guttering) to act as crab traps. Peel ports were not aware of these and have no knowledge of who put them there.
    Further out from the high tide lines, we saw areas where there were accumulations of anoxic muds and areas of coal dust on the surface. These matched well with the areas identified in your report.  While the anoxic muds are a component of the habitat, the areas of coal sediment are not and these areas were examined to ascertain any impacts that they might be having on the functioning of the habitat. The coal being a lighter material it was not uniformly distributed but gathered in  drifts associated with surface current patterns. On inspection, while undoubtedly appearing unsightly, the coal dust did not appear to be inhibiting the normal fauna of the muds. A range of a small crustaceans and molluscs  were present and active, in addition there was evidence that wading birds were able to feed in these areas. Given the limited amount of coal dust present on the mudflats relative to the volumes of water in the firth SEPA considered that there is unlikely to be any significant adverse impact on water quality and that the impacts are largely cosmetic.
    We considered the options that might be available for the removal of this material and concluded that the disturbance associated with the mechanical removal of these materials would cause more damage than leaving them in situ.
    On site we agreed an action plan with Peel. This required them addressing several issues in relation to the management of surface water escaping from the coal yards, the removal of a redundant anti-pollution boom and the removal of the crab trapping paraphernalia and other debris from the SSSI.
    Thank you for your interest in the site and drawing our attention to the issues.
    Graeme Walker | Operations Area Officer – Strathclyde & Ayrshire
    Scottish Natural Heritage |  Russell House | King Street | Ayr | KA80BF |  t: 01292 270760

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