Beach and harbour area closed off after suspected oil spill in Fife

A beach and harbour area have been closed off after a suspected oil spill in Fife.

Investigators have been at Limekilns and Charleston since the matter was reported on Tuesday morning.

It is believed the substance is diesel which came from a drain on the land.

Sepa, NHS Fife, Marine Scotland, Fife Council and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency have all been at the scene for the investigation and clean-up work.

A Forth Ports spokesman said: “It appears to be a light refined diesel. On receiving the initial report, Forth Ports immediately sent a pollution response vessel to the area to investigate and nothing was found on the water.

“Subsequent investigations from our on-scene response team suggest the spill has come from a drain on the land.

“We are working with Sepa and Fife Council on this.”

Fears have been raised about what impact the substance could have on wildlife and nearby environment.

Limekilns beach and the land adjacent to the harbour have been affected and both sites have now been closed off to the public.

Fife Council has urged the public to stay away from the area while work is being carried out.

A spokeswoman added: “Since sightings of an oil-based product on the beach were reported earlier this morning, council teams have been on site erecting warning signs and starting a clean-up operation following defined plans for such incidents.

“The contaminated seaweed is being contained and investigations into the source of the pollution are ongoing. ”

Dunfermline and West Fife MSP Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “This incident is very concerning. Urgent action is needed to ensure that lasting damage isn’t caused to local wildlife and the surrounding environment.

“I’ve contacted Sepa, in order to find out more about the source of this pollution and the steps that are being taken to address the matter.

“This will be especially disappointing to the Charlestown, Limekilns and Pattiesmuir nature conservation group, who have been working incredibly hard to clean up local beaches in recent months.”

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