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Stop Vattenfall from building a substation near residential housing

This petition had 550 supporters

Over 60 of the 82 families who live in Blackdog, Scotland have objected to the construction of an electrical substation set to be built on closed landfill which is approximately 400 feet from several of the nearest homes. After the residents voiced concerns, lodged official objections, and appeared at local government hearings, their concerns are still not being adequately addressed.

We, the residents of Blackdog village, are petitioning the Formartine Area Committee to prevent Vattenfall from constructing an electrical substation on an unregulated, closed, and reportedly contaminated landfill site within walking distance of our homes.

Please sign this petition to tell the Committee that you support the small town of Blackdog in the fight to protect their right to peaceful living conditions, property, health, and safety.

Why is this important?

Known for its proximity to the sea and scenic views, Blackdog village is a small beach town in Scotland that has been progressively victimised for decades. The village residents currently live among 19 landfills, many of which are located only a few hundred metres away from houses and were operational before government regulations were instituted. Blackdog is currently the home of the second most contaminated parcel of land in Scotland, the Blackdog Beachside Tip landfill. In the past, the town has been the target of a proposed incinerating facility. Now Vattenfall is asking the Committee for permission to unearth and construct an electrical substation for its EOWDC offshore wind farm project over the closed Strabathie landfill.

Strabathie was reportedly operational as an unregulated dumping facility since the 1930s. At an official hearing at the White Horse Inn, Ms. Coles (contaminated land officer) explained that “There are no records on waste deposited prior to 1978.” Inspections at the end of the landfill’s life cycle, between 1988-1991, were “limited.” Ms. Ramsay (planning officer) acknowledged that the substation is being built atop of “Potentially contaminated land.” During the same hearing, it was also noted that traces of contaminants were found during an inspection 10 years ago and that site investigation reports in 2002, 2003, and 2004 are “not quite comprehensive enough for development.”

Yet, officials are still willing to continue with the project.

With admittedly minimal records available, the local officials should have turned to the people who have lived in Blackdog their entire lives for additional information. According to village residents, the following is a sampling of what has been dumped into the Strabathie landfill before operations ceased over a decade ago:

1) Thirty lorry loads of asbestos used for insulation was dumped in the 1950s.
2) “Rodine,” a brand of rat poison banned from use, was disposed of by the Council.
3) Red oxide paints (believed to contain lead).
4) Old cars and batteries
5) Tyres from RAF Dyce
6) Old building materials
7) Human waste
8) Deceased farm animals

Small But Not Forgotten

Although small, Blackdog village and its residents deserve some respect. “There are very little amenities in Blackdog other than a woodland walk which is very isolated and overgrown and not at all pleasant. The walk along the beach is also ruined by an old landfill, bearing a written warning of contamination, which is constantly leaching oil and leaking gases and has been so for many years. If this substation gets permission then the last small peaceful open space we have will be taken away from us,” explained resident Nicola Brown.

When the Tarbothill landfill was covered, the village breathed a sigh of relief hoping that this was the last of the landfills and other unsafe and unsightly industrial projects in Blackdog, but if the Committee sides with Vattenfall, Strabathie will be reopened, contaminants will be exposed, and a substation will be built near residential housing in its place. Construction vehicles will trample old and already fragile roads. Noise will become an everyday occurrence. Lorries will constantly pass a nursery and park frequented by local children to transport building materials.

Vattenfall believes it can overpower a small town, but the residents of Blackdog need your help to prove them wrong. Help the residents of Blackdog tell the Committee that risking the village’s health and safety; cementing a parcel of land which has become natural in time; and forcing the residents to live near a power facility is not acceptable.

Visit the Protect Blackdog blog for pictures and additional information:

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Nicola Brown needs your help with “Formartine Area Committee: Stop Vattenfall from building a substation near residential housing”. Join Nicola and 549 supporters today.