FIFE Council say they will be looking to recover costs from last month’s oil spill in West Fife – however it still remains unclear who was responsible for the incident.

Investigations into the source of the pollution which appeared at Limekilns and Charlestown beaches are on-going.

And the areas will remain closed to the public until further notice while the clean up operation continues.

Fife Council service manager Bill Liddle said beaches and surrounding green spaces have been damaged as a result.

“A lot of seaweed in the area was contaminated and has been removed, which will have an ecological impact,” he said. “However, there’s no indication of any direct impact to birds or marine wildlife.

“It’s too early to say what the total cost of the clean-up operation will be but the council will be seeking to recover the costs incurred in due course.

“SEPA are continuing their investigations into the source of the contaminant.”

Work to uplift and dispose of the contaminated material at a registered disposal site started on Friday and a specialist firm has removed approximately 500 tonnes of material from the area.

While this is being done, members of the public have been warned to keep away from the area and the Fife Coastal Path has since been diverted along adjacent streets.

Dunfermline and West Fife MP, Douglas Chapman, this week applauded the efforts of organisations who had been involved in the clear up.

“I would like to thank all those first responders from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Marine Scotland, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency who got this incident under control very quickly,” he said.

“Thankfully there seems to have been minimum impact to wildlife and birds in the area with no dead or injured animals having been found.

“I feel for the people of Charlestown and Limekilns who have worked tirelessly over recent years to keep their beaches clean and tidy, free from litter and pollution.

“The area is a popular spot for joggers and dog walkers, and although the stench of oil has subsided, the advice is still to avoid the area and not to remove anything from the beaches for the foreseeable future.

“I understand there will be remediation working taking place on the beach to ensure sand that has been removed will be replaced and grass replanted where necessary.”