The highly dangerous picric acid left in an Uckfield industrial unit has been removed, it has been announced in the last hour (December 4, just before 8.30pm).
Town councillors were told the news tonight by the town clerk, Holly Goring.
She had heard the news from Wealden District Council.
“We have got some positive news today, an update from the district council this afternoon.
“Arrangements have been made for the hazardous chemicals to be removed from the unit on the Bellbrook industrial estate.
“The most hazardous chemical [picric acid] has been removed.
“The work to clear the unit will continue but will obviously take a little time.
“Just to confirm again, the most hazardous chemical has now been removed.”
She said Wealden District and Uckfield Town Council were very grateful to the owner of the unit for organising this and Wealden District Council appreciated the role taken by the town council.
The presence of the chemicals, which was first revealed by UckfieldNews.com, had alarmed neighbouring businesses and residents who feared a huge explosion.
At the beginning of November, we reported that Andrew Smith, of Fergus Smith Special Waste Services Ltd,had said there were 25 tonnes of laboratory solvents on the site including chloroform and formaldehyde, which he described as “highly toxic” and denatured alcohol, xylene, and methanol which, he said were “highly flammable”.
He was most concerned about 300kg of Picric Acid, which, if crystalised, could cause a massive explosion. He had never, in more than 30 years in the waste disposal business, seen such a large quantity of it. The most he had seen previously in one place was 500g.
Previous Uckfield News stories about the chemicals can be seen here: