A Scottish farmer is facing a four-figure bill after fly-tippers dumped a lorry-load of asbestos sheets on his farm.
The hazardous waste was dumped at Broats Farm, run by John Jamieson, in the early hours of Friday morning (October 16th).
The volume of dumped asbestos immediately restricted access to farm sheds, straw, and fodder.
Due to the hazardous nature of the material, the incident was raised as a matter of urgency with local and national agencies – Dumfries and Galloway Council, Police Scotland, SEPA and Zero Waste Scotland.
Farmer held responsible
A site visit has been undertaken by the local authority, but it appears that the farmer will be held responsible for the uplift and disposal of the waste.
Without any identifiable content in the asbestos waste, it is unlikely that any agency intends to pursue the case for investigation and prosecution, according to NFU Scotland.
Pending a crime reference number being allocated, Mr Jamieson will investigate whether his farm insurance policy will cover the cost of uplift and removal.
Open to prosecution
Due to the hazardous nature of the waste, a special licence is required adding to the cost.
If Jamieson does not dispose of the dumped asbestos correctly, he may be open to prosecution.
NFU Scotland’s regional manager for Dumfries and Galloway, Teresa Dougall, who has been assisting Mr Jamieson with the case, said: “It’s a hugely frustrating story as almost every person that Mr Jamieson and NFU Scotland turned to about this dreadful incident shifted the responsibility to someone else.”
“Although not wholly surprising, we had hoped, due to the extremely hazardous nature of asbestos, that someone would raise their head above the parapet.
“Not only does this highlight the lack of general support – both physical and legislative – in tackling the surge in fly-tipping across Scotland but when hazardous waste is involved, that support still isn’t available and the innocent landowner is left to carry the cost of clean-up and disposal,” Dougall concluded.