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UK Government should pay for clean-up of oil spill on Fife beach, says MSP

© Ken Jack/Getty ImagesShirley-Anne Somerville
Shirley-Anne Somerville

The UK Government has been urged to foot the bill for clean-up of an oil spill along the Fife coastline.

A massive clean-up operation following the spillage at Limekilns beach in February has cost the local authority £600,000.

More than 500 tonnes of contaminated sand, seaweed and gravel were removed.

But the source of the slick remains a mystery despite investigations by bodies including the Marine Coastguard Agency.

West Fife SNP MSP Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “It’s unacceptable that, eight months on, West Fifers still have no answers as to who was responsible for this oil spill.

“Fife Council did an excellent job of responding to the incident when it occurred. But it’s unacceptable that they are still left holding the £600,000 bill for this work.

“There are clearly shortcomings in the MCA’s systems if they can’t pick up the source of an oil spill of this size.

“This requires urgent attention from the UK Government to ensure that in future, polluters won’t be allowed to get off the hook.

“But, in the meanwhile, the Transport Secretary should do the right thing and cover the costs of the clean-up operation.

The Government said: “The Department for Transport is confident in the actions that the MCA carried out regarding the oil spill.

“We continue to support the MCA’s work with other authorities to help identify the cause of any spill.”