Work on a major road development in the North-east has been postponed for seven days due to fears over pollution.
Work on the entire Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route will stop for a week while officers from the Scotland’s Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) inspect the pollution following floods on the site over the last two days.
Heavy downpours in the North-east has led to silt polluting the tributaries of both the River Dee and Don.
As a result, work on the bypass has been halted so investigations can be carried out.
Calum MacDonald, executive director of SEPA, said: “SEPA officers have been investigating multiple reports of significant silt pollution in watercourses surrounding the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR), following heavy downpours last night.
“The pollution appears to have resulted from run-off water from the construction site being flushed into smaller watercourses, including tributaries of the Rivers Dee and Don.
“Due to the potential scale of pollution, Aberdeen Roads Limited has voluntarily halted construction work on the project.”
Mr MacDonald added: “This will allow for AWPR contractors to provide assurance to SEPA, within seven days, that adequate measures and monitoring are in place to protect against potential pollution.
“During this time, SEPA officers will continue to inspect the entirety of the route to identify the sources and impact of pollution on the wider water environment, which includes protected spawning grounds for Salmon and Freshwater Pearl Mussels.
“Transport Scotland is supporting SEPA with its ongoing investigation.”
A Transport Scotland spokeswoman said: “We are aware that the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is currently undertaking an investigation into water run-off from the AWPR/B-T site.
“Aberdeen Roads Limited – the project contractor – has been working over the past three days to mitigate excess water flowing from the project site, following a prolonged period of heavy rain across the north east.
“However, these measures put in place have been overwhelmed by the extent of the heavy rain.
“Aberdeen Roads Limited has voluntarily stopped its works to focus its efforts on improving the mitigation measures in place. We take our environmental responsibilities seriously and are supporting SEPA in its investigation.
“We are also working with the contractor to secure watercourses across the site and to enable construction works to continue at the earliest opportunity.”