Oil spill in Chelmsford

MORE than 4000 litres of waste oil has been removed from a spill at a stream in East Anglia, preventing potentially "devastating" consequences.The Environment Agency has been dealing with the severe loss in Baddow Mead Brook in Chelmsford.

MORE than 4000 litres of waste oil has been removed from a spill at a stream in East Anglia, preventing potentially "devastating" consequences.

The Environment Agency has been dealing with the severe loss in Baddow Mead Brook in Chelmsford.

Agency officers were notified by members of the public and managed to prevent the oil reaching the River Chelmer.

The pollution incident is believed to have been caused by a large tanker illegally discharging waste oil to a water sewer or highway drain, possibly to avoid disposal costs, or from a commercial company which "lost" the oil.

The clean-up operation after the incident last Wednesday prevented harm to wildlife or members of the public, who could have been effected by any polluted water which is abstracted for drinking at Maldon.

Steve Bewers , Environment Agency manager, said the source of the leak was still unknown.

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"We have employed contractors and removed 4000 litres of waste oil, the quantities of which are so high it must have been caused by a large spillage from a tank or bulk container.

"It is much larger than anything that could have come from a domestic property.

"The specialist clean-up operation has already run into thousands of pounds, which ultimately will be paid by the local taxpayers."

An agency spokeswoman added it was not clear who owned the land where the spill occurred, although it is not thought the source of the problem.

She said: "We are of the view that the spillage is so large that whoever is responsible must be fully aware of the problem."

The agency issued an appeal to members of the public to contact them if they know of any recent spillages or have seen any tanker vehicles acting suspiciously in the area of the incident.

Anyone with any information about the pollution incidents should contact the agency's 24-hour hotline on 0800 80 70 60.

james.hore@eadt.co.uk

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