We continue to assist with this pollution event and to work extremely hard in an area of the River Test to contain oil spilled by a third party from the nearby Industrial estate. Our priority is to continue to mitigate against the environmental impact this third party pollution may have.
We have had our own ecologists onsite supporting these efforts and are working closely with both the Environment Agency and Natural England. The third party company who reported the spill to the Environment Agency in mid-June, is also undertaking clean-up and mitigation action.
While the original source of the oil spill has now been stopped by the business owner, oil which has seeped into the ground can continue to enter the river. Reeds in the river are also harbouring oil and we have sought expert advice on cleaning.
Our priority remains preventing as much oil as possible from being washed further down the river. Since the incident started we have greatly increased the number of absorbent booms to block the oil’s path. We also have tankers sucking away the oil and taking it to a temporary processing plant set up in the area.
We wish to assure everyone that we have undertaken thorough inspections of the area. We have seen the images posted on social media and recent video footage, however, we repeat our request for these to be share directly with us to assist with the clean-up operation and prevent further impact on wildlife in this sensitive and internationally important habitat. It has been difficult to validate claims being made on social media without locations, dates and times being confirmed to us. So far we have done all we can to inspect the river to continue to look for evidence to aid this ongoing legal investigation.
Even though the responsibility for the pollution and the clean-up rests with others, we are looking to undertake further environmental sampling. We are disappointed that we have not been allowed access to all of the local areas which has delayed this process.