Bottling plant fined over 6,600 litre whisky spill

The largest independent whisky bottling plant in Scotland has been handed a £12,000 fine after 6,600 litres of spirit spilled into the River Ayr.

Glen Catrine Bonded Warehouse admitted the offence during a hearing at Ayr Sheriff Court around the events which happened in September 2011.

The court heard how the spill occurred when spirit from a road tanker containing 27,500 litres of whisky spirit was pumped into the wrong vat.

An absence of fail-safes such as alarms or trips meant the overflow, which spilled into the river, was only identified when a passing employee caught sight of the safety breach.

It later emerged that there were no contingency plans to prevent or mitigate the pollutant effects of a spill.

Speaking after the case, procurator fiscal Sara Shaw said: “The risk of pollution of the river should have been one of the considerations at the forefront of the company’s policies.

“Due to the absence of a number of appropriate systems and staff training, there was always the risk of accident or an overfill incident if an error was made.”

Ms Shaw said “improvements” had since been made at the site designed to prevent similar incidents happening in the future.

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