£15,000 penalty for unlawful landfill site

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A Fife landowner who built up an illegal landfill site, containing thousands of tonnes of unlicensed waste, has been handed a £15,000 confiscation order.

Between 2006 and 2012, Ernest McPherson, from Lochgelly, created an unauthorised landfill site, holding an estimated 85,500 tonnes of unlicensed waste material, at the Wee Mary Bing, Wester Cartmore Farm, Lochgelly, and operated in a manner likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health.

The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) had been monitoring the site and engaged with McPherson (70) on the storage of demolition waste kept there, and also its security.

In April 2011, he was formally required by SEPA to remove the waste by September 15 that year, but did not do so.

In September 2013, he pleaded guilty to an environmental offence and, in May last year, was sentenced to a six-month restriction of liberty order. The confiscation order was made yesterday (Wednesday at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.

Lindsey Miller, Procurator Fiscal for Organised Crime & Counter Terrorism, said: “The illegal and unauthorised waste management activities of Ernest McPherson had the potential to cause significant environmental harm and, by not adhering to the lawful requirements, could reduce the available business and undermine the viability of responsible operators.

“The Order imposed should send a clear message to those who do not comply with our environmental laws. They will not profit from failing in their duty to Scotland’s heritage.”

“All funds recovered will be added to those already gathered from Proceeds of Crime to be re-invested in the community by Scottish Ministers, through the CashBack for Communities programme.”