- 17 Jun 2020
Date received: 15 May 2020
Date responded: 16 Jun 2020
You asked 20 questions on: 2012 Oil leak, Hydroseeding, Communication and Cementious leachate.
As the information you have requested is ‘environmental information’ for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.
This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.
I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested where it is available at Annex 2.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide all of the information you have requested to questions 1,3, 6, 7a, 11 & 14 because an exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held) applies to that information.
We are also unable to provide some of the information you have requested because an exception(s) under regulation(s) Reg 11(2) (Personal data relating to third party) of the EIRs applies to that information.
The reasons why these exceptions apply are explained in Annex 1 to this letter.
REASONS FOR NOT PROVIDING INFORMATION
The Scottish Government does not have the information
Under the terms of the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held), the Scottish Government is not required to provide information which it does not have. Scottish Forestry does not hold the data you have requested relating to the following questions:
Q1. In regard to the oil leak incident in 2012, could you please provide a copy of any report or incident report prepared from or on behalf of the contractors (believed at that time to have been Blackwells)? Please note that our clients hold the water monitoring report but seek any contemporaneous incident report(s) from the hours following the detection of the leak and the immediate steps taken to mitigate the leak. If you require further specification regarding the oil leak, so as to comply with this request, please return to us and this can be provided. Otherwise, we shall assume you are aware of the incident referred to.
Q3. Please provide any information you hold as to the nature of the ‘Alternative Water Supply’, where it was connected, what the source was of the supply, the duration of the connection, and any remediation and cleaning steps taken on disconnection of the ‘Alternative Water Supply’ (particularly to mitigate against cross contamination). Specifically, please confirm the nature of any cleaning products or chemical solutions that you have been informed of having been used in the connection to the Alternative Water Supply, the use of the said supply, and disconnection of the said supply.
Q6. Please provide any information held about the steps taken to decontaminate the water supply, and attempt removal of the oil contamination. If no steps were taken, please provide any information held about the decision made to allow the oil to disburse naturally and the scientific basis for assessing this approach.
Q7. Please provide any map or other document detailing (a) the anticipated spread of the oil contamination.
Q11. Please provide any documentation showing who (a) made the decision to use; and (b) approved the use of: Sustane 464 hydroseeding mix at the site, near the Brollys’ water supply.
Q14. Can you provide any documentation regarding decisions whether or not to communicate to the Brollys at the time of the events that: (a) the 2012 oil leak had occurred; and (b) the 2018 hydroseeding was taking place.
This exception is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exception. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exception.
While we recognise that there may be some public interest in information about the above questions, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.
Personal data relating to third party
An exception under regulation 11(2) of the EIRs applies to some of the information you have requested. Reg 11(2) (Personal data relating to third party).
An exception under regulation 11(2) of the EIRs (personal information) applies to some the information requested because it is personal data of a third party and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018. This exception is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exception.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House