Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, today (December 7th 2012) welcomed the news that the Environment Agency (EA) had now taken a firm decision to both invest hard cash and to begin physical work to clear up Saltburn Gill.
The EA, in a letter to Tom said that, above and beyond the £700,000 already put into the fight against mine water pollution, a further £2 million has been earmarked to clean-up the beck.
“The Agency have confirmed that they will now be using this cash to pump polluted water from the old mine workings at Skelton until the current discharges dry up, which they say this can take a year. After that, a treatment scheme will be constructed which will filter iron from the mine water before it enters the stream by using a series of ponds. They tell me that this a “tried and tested” process used at over 60 treatment schemes around Britain. This, they say, will take a further five months.
“This is a great Christmas present for Saltburn and is a testament to the work of the local Saltburn Gill Action Group who have been working for the last two years to clean up this stream which runs past the Saltburn foreshore and onto the beach. For my part I have worked hard with the Action Group to ensure this much needed and important funding comes to Saltburn and East Cleveland -especially given the exceedingly high levels of rain fall we have recently witnessed.
“This news means that by late next year we will begin to see a cleaner, greener, beckside environment, which will both make the area more attractive and also save local riverside wildlife and plant life from pollution. I am really pleased with this announcement.”