A FIFE MSP has slammed the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) for closing its probe into February’s oil spill at Limekilns.

Green MSP Mark Ruskell said it was “not acceptable” that the reason for the incident – which cost around £600,000 to clear up from the polluted beaches – has not been uncovered.

“This oil spill has caused significant environmental damage and local inconvenience in the villages,” he said.

“It’s simply not acceptable for SEPA to say they can’t figure out where it came from and wipe their hands of responsibility.

“If the oil did not come from the land, the investigation should extend into the river, and SEPA and Fife Council need to be working with Marine Scotland and Forth Ports to look at all boats in the area at the time of the oil spill in February that could have been the source of this pollution.

“We’ve long established the principle that the polluter should pay for clean-ups in Scotland but this is meaningless if our agencies are not carrying out full and proper investigations into these incidents.

“The taxpayers in Fife should not be picking up the bill for this.”

SEPA announced last month that their work had been completed. They said they had analysed samples of the contamination and compared the results to samples taken from potential sources.

As no matches were found, they said their enquiry had closed unless further information came to their attention.

This week they stressed that their investigations had been extensive.

A SEPA spokesperson said: “In addition to regulatory officers, who were part of the initial response and walked the shoreline to help assess how extensive the contamination was, a range of SEPA disciplines came together, along with partner responders.

“Samples collected by Forth Ports were analysed in our laboratory and our scientists were able to identify a fingerprint that could be used to match to any potential sources. SEPA experts in marine modelling were also part of our analysis, providing an indication where the pollution may have originated.

“All this data was used to identify potential sources along the shore, all of which were visited, inspected and ruled out. Fife Council and their contractor Briggs Marine also provided information we could use in our assessments.

“If further information comes to our attention in the future, SEPA will investigate. SEPA’s data has been passed to other organisations to assist in any investigations they are carrying out into off-shore sources, which are outside SEPA’s regulatory remit.”