Update on An Aird Ground Inspection

More than 100 homes and 10 businesses in the An Aird area of Fort William will receive a newsletter this week updating them on land investigations being carried out in the area.

This is the second newsletter that The Highland Council has produced informing local people of the precautionary action that the Council is taking to investigate land which may be contaminated and ensure that any necessary remediation is carried out if significant health risks are found.

The Council first informed local people in January 2008 of the investigations being undertaken at An Aird and issued the first newsletter in June/July 2008.

Included in the second winter 2008/09 newsletter is information on the results of the soil and groundwater sampling; and monthly gas monitoring taken from 58 bore-holes in the area. The results show that there is no significant risk to human health at the site from contaminants in soil. Gas monitoring has found isolated pockets of methane and carbon dioxide in soil at parts of An Aird where there are no buildings. The gas does not appear to be widespread across An Aird. There is no current risk to health or buildings.

Next steps outlined in the newsletter include taking more soil samples from the residential area because the landfill is larger than anticipated. These samples will be taken from hand dug pits using trowels. The Council will write to the residents affected to advise them when the work will take place. This is a precautionary measure. The results of samples already collected in the residential area do not indicate a risk to health from contaminants in the soil.

The Council will continue gas monitoring each month to find out if atmospheric changes affect the gas. Gas monitoring is scheduled to be complete in February 2009 when the full results will be analysed.

A Spring newsletter will be issued. In the meantime, the Council has assured the public that if significant contamination is found, local residents and businesses will be contacted directly at the earliest opportunity.

Copies of the winter newsletter are available at The Highland Council's Fort William Service Point; Fort William Library; Nevis Centre; Lochaber College; and An Aird Shinty Club or can be found on the Council's website at: http://www.highland.gov.uk/contaminatedland.htm


26 Jan 2009