The notice follows the discovery on Friday of 25 tonnes of chemicals identified by an expert as including chloroform, formaldehyde, denatured alcohol, xylene, methanol and, of most concern to the expert, 300kg of Picric Acid. Read more about the discovery here.
The council says:
“Wealden District Council would like to reassure the public that we are taking action alongside partners to resolve a situation with hazardous chemicals stored on the Bellbrook Estate.
“Environmental Health officers were alerted on Friday afternoon (October 27) to the presence of hazardous chemicals at a unit on Bellbrook Industrial Estate, Uckfield.
Officers from East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, the Ministry of Defence (Explosive Ordinance Disposal division) and Sussex Police visited the site.
Safe and secure
“The Environmental Agency were also aware of the company that was operating at the unit. It was agreed that as the site is safe and secure that no immediate action was required.
“The person who was responsible for renting out the unit, was told the chemicals had to be removed and the details of three companies who could carry out the work.
“As the company who rented the unit had gone into receivership, officers advised the person responsible for the unit, he was now responsible for managing the site and removing the chemicals.
“He was also being advised by the Environment Agency. On Wednesday, when no action was being taken, Officers visited the site and spoke to the responsible person again.
“They took formal action under the Health Protection (Local Authority Powers) Regulations 2010, requiring any hazardous chemicals to be removed.
“Wealden Officers have been actively working with the emergency services and other partners to resolve this situation.
“The responsible person has been advised by his own expert chemist, East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, the Environment Agency and ourselves about what action to take. It is important that he now accepts his responsibilities and employs a specialist contractor to remove the chemicals.”
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