The fable of Foulden Maar – a case study in the collision of scientific evidence and government policies?

This week I’ve been watching the story of Foulden Maar unfold in the media. It’s not something I’ve been asked to provide official advice on, but a few scientists have alerted me to the saga. It proves to be an interesting case study in how and when scientific evidence is, or isn’t, used to inform government processes (central and local). So what might we learn from this fable?