Strategic Review of Seafield Sewage Plant announced

The Evening News has just published an article outlining a new strategic review commissioned by Scottish Government (Rosanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for the Environment) relating to the odour nuisances from Seafield sewage works.

The photo here shows Ben MacPherson MSP, Chair of the Seafield Stakeholders Group, who has been working with Ms Cunningham and with the local community “to properly tackle the issues at Seafield, which affect many of my constituents.” He said the review would engage with the community and also include consideration of on-site operational and capital options. “This is a strong and significant step forward towards further reducing instances of odour nuisances and working towards eliminating them. It will investigate the situation at Seafield fully and determine the necessary action that needs to be taken to deal with the issues and improve day-to-day life for the community.”

Read more here: http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/scottish-government-order-review-into-seafield-stench-1-4496034

 

Update on the ‘Seafield Stench’

by Jim Scanlon

On Tuesday, 20th June, as Chair of Leith Links Community Council, I attended a meeting with Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, regarding the ongoing odour emissions at Seafield Sewage Plant.

Also attending the meeting were Rob Kirkwood, Chair of the Leith Links Residents Association (LLRA), Ben Macpherson MSP, Professor Rob Jackson, a scientific expert who advises LLRA, Rob Munn, advisor to Ben MacPherson, and Scottish Government Civil Servants and special advisors.

The Cabinet Secretary was questioned about the CREW (Centre of expertise for waters) report on Odour Management and monitoring in Scottish wastewater treatment plants that was commissioned by Scottish Government.  The report said that odours are rare, sites are managed effectively, local councils and SEPA enforce regulations and that legislation governing sewage works is fit for purpose and doesn’t need changed.

We disagreed profoundly and suggested that the minister had been poorly briefed about Scotland’s sewage works.

Professor Jackson, appointed by Scottish Water to work with the community, said that in terms of academic research, the report was deeply flawed and the conclusions of the report were unsound:  information had been gathered only by sending questionnaires to a small sample of sewage work managers, council employees and SEPA. There had been no independent enquiries, no site visits and no consultation with the local populations. Some technical information was incorrect.

The Minister seemed sympathetic and after further discussion over the odour nuisance, possible causes, and the future effects of climate change, Ms. Cunningham has ordered a strategic review of Seafield, and of the existing Code of Practice and legislation governing odour emissions..

Terms of Reference for this review have been drawn up but we feel they have not gone far enough so we have since written to Scottish Government with our concerns (also raised by Leith Links Residents Association).

We feel that the review should not just focus on Seafield as the Code of Practice covers the whole of Scotland, and there are known problems in other plants. Also, the proposed Terms of Reference specify looking at the operation, design and management of Seafield i.e. focusing on how they ‘manage’ odours. But at the last stakeholder meeting both Veolia, who operate Seafield, and City of Edinburgh Council Public Health officials acknowledged that not only management improvements but also investment and changes in infrastructure are needed. The terms of reference should therefore include assessing the costs of covering the sewage tanks at Seafield and similar plants throughout Scotland to eliminate odours for good, rather than just to ‘minimize’ them.

Once the Terms of Reference for the review are agreed, a tender will be put out for an independent firm of constructional engineering consultants, to look at the plant procedures and equipment and to estimate the capital investment required.

Leith Links Community Council will continue to represent the community, working with LLRA, to monitor events closely, make sure the review is done quickly but professionally and that conclusions are acted on.

 

Busy Week!

Want to catch up and join in with what’s happening in and around our local community? You may be interested to attend one or more of the following events, all happening this week:

  • Monday 26 June – Leith Links Community Council Meeting – 7 pm Leith Community Centre.
  • Wednesday 28 June – Project team, former Tram Depot (165 Leith Walk) news about demolition and new plans for the site – drop in event, 4:30 – 7pm, McDonald Road Library.
  • Thursday 29 June – Make Leith Better pitching event.  Leith Creative offering £500 awards for the best ideas  – 6 pm – 8pm, Bakers Arms, 87-91 Henderson Street.
  • Saturday 1 July – Restalrig Road + Railway Path Clean Up event –  11am – meet at bus stop on bridge above the railway path, Restalrig Road.
  • Sunday 2 July – Farmers Market on the Croft – 10am – 5 pm – Leith Community Croft, at the Johns Road end of Leith Links.

 

Latest update on Leith Walk works

The Community Council received the following update email from Michael Motion, Senior Project Manager, Infrastructure, Turner & Townsend

Phase 4 (Pilrig Street to McDonald Road)

Weekly lookahead (w/c 26th June 2017) and further CEC project update 

Please see below details of works to be undertaken during the course of next week:

–      Complete grouting to the slabbed paving at the Library corner and open up areas to     pedestrians where safe to do so

–      Commence paving to the N/W corner of Croall Place (West side of Leith Walk)

–      Commence paving to Brunswick Street footpath at the junction with Leith Walk

–      Continue paving to the east side of Leith Walk

–      Kerb realignment, and commence kerb laying at Brunswick Street junction

–      Continue works to the road crossings at McDonald Road junction, excavating the tracks and installing ducts

 165 Leith Walk – Former Tram Depot Demolition

The former tram depot (located at 165 Leith Walk) is due for demolition, and further communication will follow regarding the programme for these works in the coming weeks.  The area will be cleared and a creative workspaces project will occupy part of this site.

 The smaller building at the front of the former depot (165a Leith Walk) will be retained and refurbished to create a pilot partnership hub delivering local services.  The project is a collaboration between site owners, The City of Edinburgh Council and local arts trust, Out of the Blue.

 The project team intend to hold a drop-in community event on 28th June, between 4.30pm – 7.00pm, in the McDonald Road Library.  At this event, there will be an opportunity to find out more about these proposals and to ask any questions.

Any queries or concerns with regards to the above, please contact leith.programme@edinburgh.gov.uk