Beamish welcomes sewage legislation

Claudia Beamish MSP has welcomed the Scottish Government’s announcement that it will review legislation around the use of sewage sludge as fertiliser on farm land.

The announcement of the review came after the South Scotland MSP raised concerns with the Scottish Government on behalf of constituents.

Concern has been expressed at the spreading of human waste on farm land in relation to public health and environmental impact.

In light of these concerns, Claudia wrote to the Scottish Government calling for a review and the Cabinet Secretary has acknowledged public complaints on the matter.

Commenting on the review, Claudia Beamish MSP said: “I am pleased that the Scottish Government has accepted the concerns of my constituents and the lack of clarity in the current guidelines.

“I called for a review because the answers I received from Ministers and SEPA failed to properly address local concerns. The review needs to ensure that communities and farmers know where they stand.

“I am now seeking information on what will be included in the review and what the arrangements will be for public consultation. The use of treated sewage sludge has potential benefits but we need to know under what circumstances it is allowed and how it will be monitored.

“We need to know how such waste is classified from a safety perspective to make sure that the risks have been properly assessed.

“Given concerns about public health, I’d like to see consideration of how signage and fencing could be made mandatory to alert the public.

“I remain deeply concerned about reports that untreated, dried sewage is being used in some cases. This is totally unacceptable and I will be calling for the review to look at how this can be prevented.

“I will be following the progress of the review closely and am continuing to seek a meeting with the Cabinet Secretary following my request in December to discuss this issue.”