Milford Haven oil spill contained

Port of Milford Haven Booms are in place at the Port of Milford Haven following an oil spill. Credit: Port of Milford Haven

An oil spill clean-up operation is underway but reportedly contained at the Port of Milford Haven following a spill of up to 10 cubic metres at the Valero Pembroke Refinery.

Valero estimated that up to 7.5-10 cubic metres of heavy fuel oil had leaked overnight on 2/3rd January from a pipe connecting the jetty to the refinery, but Mike Ryan, harbourmaster at the Port of Milford Haven, said Milford Haven Port Authority has been working alongside partner agencies to survey, clean-up and put in place measures to protect the environment and wildlife.

Mr Ryan said the Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA) “are using their contracted surveillance and verification aircraft and the images provided by this equipment have assisted the teams to locate any surface oil, its direction of travel and dispersal.  The Port’s pollution vessel ‘Sea Sweep’ has patrolled and collected some surface oil; however most of the oil has naturally dispersed and the MCA report from this morning’s flight has confirmed this.”

Booms deployed

Booming is in place at Sandy Haven and booms are also being deployed around the Gann estuary near Dale.

There have been sightings of oil on shore at Dale and Musselwick Bay, however, “a clean-up operation is underway and agencies will continue to monitor the surrounding shoreline over the coming days,” he stressed.

Mid and West Wales Fire Service has loaned the port drone equipment to assist with the clean-up operation.

Andrea Winterton, operations manager at Natural Resources Wales, said the organisation’s officers are positioned in key locations across the Milford Haven Waterway surveying for signs of pollution washing onshore.

She stated the booms will remain in place until the risk to wildlife and the sensitive saltmarshes has passed.

“A full investigation is underway into how the oil entered the estuary and the findings of this will be shared once concluded,” she stated.

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