Earth First! Winter Moot

Defending the Douglas Valley

Hambach Forest Ocupation

South Lanarkshire COALcil

Mainshill Zine

Coal in Scotland

gratefully supported by:

we rely totally on donations, so if you can please donate


Glentaggart lookin westPRESS RELEASE: SCOTTISH OPENCAST COMMUNITIES ALLIANCE (SOCA)
For immediate release 13 September 2013

OPENCAST MINE CLEAN-UP COST ESTIMATES DOUBLE: “GOVERNMENT MUST ACT” SAYS COMMUNITY GROUP

Communities affected by opencast mines have called on the government to act after it was revealed that the shortfall in funds for cleaning up abandoned mines in East Ayrshire has more than doubled.

A report prepared for East Ayrshire Council [1] and due to be considered by councillors on Thursday says the clean-up of opencast coal mines in the county will cost £161m, but only £28m are available in restoration bonds – a shortfall of £133m. A previous council report in May put the shortfall at £62m – a figure based on estimates provided by KPMG, the liquidators of opencast operators Scottish Coal and ATH.

Malcolm Spaven, Chairperson of the Scottish Opencast Communities Alliance (SOCA) said: “This latest revelation about the costs of cleaning up the legacy of opencast mining shows that we have a national crisis. We must stop allowing private mining companies to dump the costs of their activities on the public. Local authorities are clearly not able to deal with this. There has to be a robust national government programme that both deals with the legacy and stops all further opencasting unless there are guarantees that the operator can and will restore the site to the required standards.”

The council report also makes clear that:

  • there will be no funds for restoring abandoned mines other than the bonds set up for the mine operators; but it is not even certain that all of those funds will be available
  • because of the enormous funding shortfall, restoration at all sites will have to be massively scaled back from the plans on which the companies got their planning consents
  • restoration will take years to achieve
  • sites “disclaimed” by KPMG could end up with no owner
  • Hargreaves has been allowed to resume coal operations at two sites even though the bonds for those sites still do not cover the restoration costs
  • Hargreaves has told the council that if it demands restoration plans for current and future sites that are not “commercially viable”, it will disclaim those sites

Spaven added: “There is no sign from this report that the basic problem – companies being allowed to dig coal out without being forced to restore the land afterwards – is being addressed. In June we called for a public inquiry into the Scottish opencast crisis. We also need immediate action by the Scottish Government to stop even more damage being caused by companies determined to trash the environment with impunity.”

[1] Available at http://www.east-ayrshire.gov.uk/asp/comms/CommitteeSummary.asp?UID=364

Media contact:

Malcolm Spaven 0771 044 7378

Note to editors: The Scottish Opencast Communities Alliance (SOCA) was formed in
May 2013 to address the issues faced by communities living near opencast coal mines.

contact

Join our announcements email list:


Recent News


»Tell the Scottish Government: Opencast moratorium and public inquiry now!
02/17/2014«
»“Deficient” and “Defective”: East Ayrshire Council going down with their ship
02/03/2014«
»The Caudlhall Decision: What next? What happened?
11/28/2013«
»Shame on you Midlothian Council: Cauldhall decision shows lessons haven’t been learned
11/19/2013«
»No opencast in Midlothian! Support campaign to stop massive new mine
11/16/2013«
»“No different to Scottish Coal” say campaigners as Hargreaves bosses pocket £8.75 million
10/27/2013«
»Opencast Mine Clean-up Cost Estimates Double: “Government must act” says community group
09/14/2013«
»¡No Pasaran! Stop the forced eviction of villagers to make way for British-owned mine!
08/27/2013«
»Open letter calls for coal mine moratorium and public inquiry as Energy Minister refuses to meet impacted communities
06/24/2013«
»The restoration bombshell has finally been dropped
05/24/2013«

Categories


ATH Resources (12)
Carbon Capture (17)
Cauldhall (5)
Coal Action (93)
Colombia (8)
Community Resistance (124)
Deep Mining (11)
Direct Action (83)
Dong Energy (6)
Funding new coal (19)
Glentaggart East (26)
Greenwash (20)
happendonwood (34)
Hargreaves (11)
health (20)
HGV RTA (5)
Hunterston Power Station (16)
Lanarkshire (142)
Midlothian (13)
North East England (6)
Open Cast (203)
Power Stations (38)
RBS (3)
Scottish Coal (177)
ScottishPower (14)
SNP energy policy (24)
Solutions? (1)
South Lanarkshire Council (43)
UK Coal (19)
Uncategorized (59)

Links



site-map