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Chemical spill at Dedridge Burn prompts spill action plan

A chemical spill at a nature spot in Dedridge has prompted concerned residents to put an action plan in place should a further spill occur.

After residents discussed the matter with the local council, a meeting has been scheduled between the community councils, Scottish Water, The Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Brucefield industrial estate.

The chemical spill and resulting fire happened on the 16th of September and destroyed the Amcor Flexibles building adjacent to the popular nature spot.

When the fire occurred, chemicals and run off water from the attempts to put out the fire polluted the burn.

A council executive report stated:

“By the Thursday evening, it was apparent that pollution was affecting the Dedridge Burn resulting from chemicals released during the fire and the firefighting operation.

“Council officers received calls from people living in Dedridge concerned that the burn had turned a milky white shade and was emitting a powerful odour.

“The vinyl film was reported by SEPA as being harmless, elevated levels of chronium appeared to be the greatest cause for concern. Normally present in small quantities, this heavy metal was present in considerable quantity and with the potential for harm.

“Recent analysis shows that levels have reduced substantially since the incident, but remain elevated.

“The smaller pond, adjacent to the Lanthorn Community Centre, and the Bellsquarry pond, located in the Bellsquarry wood and owned by Woodland Trust Scotland, were both badly affected.”

The report also stated that the council had put measures into place to improve the runoff from the factory but had not put adequate spill control measures into place to cope with chemical spills.

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