TENS of millions of pounds are needed to clean up a century-old ‘Erin Brockovich’ toxic disaster on the Clyde, authorities have warned.

Experts have long warned that Scotland faces a major bill to decontaminate dumps of cancer-causing chemicals in and near Glasgow.

But now a major regeneration quango has said it does not have the money needed to clear chromium-VI, the poison made famous by the Hollywood film about Californian anti-pollution campaigner Erin Brockovich.

Clyde Gateway says it lacks “tens of millions” it needs to make safe the former J&J White Chemical factory in Shawfield, Rutherglen, which shut in 1967.

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The agency’s announcement came after authorities closed off an entire stream in nearby Oatlands, Glasgow. The Polmadie Burn turned green last month thanks to chromium-VI washed from Shawfield across the council border in South Lanarkshire.

Local SNP and Labour MPs have now joined forces to urge additional public cash for the work - especially as Brexit closed down long-standing European Union funding for Scotland’s decontamination efforts.

Glasgow Central’s Alison Thewliss MP said: “There is a huge post-industrial legacy here to be looked at, with chromium being dumped across this area.

“It is now for all parties to get together to find a solution for this. My constituents are worried - and rightly so.”

Clyde Gateway in May will begin work injecting chemicals to neutralise the chromium-VI over a 2.5-hectare part of what it calls Shawfield Phase 2, a 30-hectare slice of Rutherglen where J&J White was based.

It will spent £5m on this plot alone - suggesting the final bill to clean up the site could be in the range of £60m.

Rutherglen’s MP, Labour’s Ged Killen, said the poisoning of Polmadie was “a real visual representation” of what was happening across the region.

He said: “In places in Rutherglen,the only indication that there has been any toxic legacy would be the warning signs. A lot of them have gone now.”

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A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “Historical ground contamination at the Shawfield site does remain an issue, but there are plans in place for further work to be undertaken to remediate a portion of the land there in the near future.

“We will continue to support Clyde Gateway’s on-going efforts to address the issues at this site, and across the wider area, in whatever way we can.”

The Scottish Government did not make a specific response to Clyde Gateway’s warnings that it could not pay for the Shawfield clean-up.

A spokesman, however, said: “Work is ongoing amongst a number of partner agencies, which we hope will produce major environmental benefits, support economic regeneration and reduce chromium pollution, including a significant programme of work to reduce the impact of chromium contamination on local watercourses.”