Saltney fire water did not contaminate River Dee

Published date: 28 May 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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The River Dee was not contaminated by a major warehouse blaze, it was confirmed yesterday.

There had been fears that water used to fight a massive blaze at a building on Saltney’s River Lane Industrial Estate may have been contaminated and returned to the nearby river.

But environmental body Natural Resources Wales said the river had not been affected.

A spokesman said: “We investigated to see whether fire water used to put out the flames may have contaminated the River Dee.

“A tiny amount did enter the river but there has been no environmental damage.”

Firefighters were set to still be on site today eight days after the fire on May 20, which involved involving tonnes of recycled waste being stored in the warehouse on the Lancashire Fuels 4U-owned site.

A spokesman for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “An investigation is under way.

“North Wales Fire and Rescue is working with Natural Resources Wales.

“The deep-seated fire is still being extinguished.”

In a later statement the fire service added: “The removal of the waste is continuing on site with crews damping down the material as it is being removed.

“It is expected that crews will remain on site for the next 24 hours.

“Fire investigation work will continue throughout this period.”

Witnesses described how parts of the building ‘melted before their eyes’ as firefighters from across the region were called in to tackle the blaze.

Sian Williams, head of operations at Natural Resources Wales, said: “Although the operation is being scaled down we will continue to work with the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service and the site owners to ensure any potential environmental impacts are minimal.

“Our officers remain on site monitoring water quality in the River Dee and surrounding water courses.”

Natural Resources Wales also confirmed a notice issued to Lancashire Fuels 4U ordering the removal of the waste from the building, issued last year, has been challenged.

Earlier this year Lancashire Fuels 4U submitted a planning application with Flintshire Council to turn the waste into biomass fuel.

The application is still under assessment and no environmental permit has been issued.

Nobody from the company has been available for comment since the blaze began.

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