South West Wales

Fish killed in kerosene oil spill in Carmarthen river

Dead fish
Image caption A large number of dead fish have been found in the river, including the protected species lampreys and bullheads

Dead fish have been found following an oil spill in a Carmarthenshire river.

Kerosene has leaked from a pipeline under the A48 near Carmarthen - which is shut for maintenance work - into nearby Nant Pibwr.

The pipeline carries aviation fuel and diesel from Pembroke's Valero refinery.

A Natural Resources Wales (NRW) spokesman said: "We are doing all we can to stop the pollution and reduce its impact on fish and other wildlife."

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionAngler Alex Young said the oil spill will have a "massive impact" on fish

Local councillor Elwyn Williams said farmers had been forced to move their livestock away from the river.

"The last two years were the first time in 40 years we had some fish in the river. They've all died in the last 24 hours," he said.

"It's a disaster."

Alex Young, chairman of Abergwili Angling Club in Carmarthen, said: "It's devastating. The river is bad enough as it is.

"I've been pulling dead fish out with my hands. You can smell it in the air. If this is happening here, what's it going to be like once it's down to the tide.

"This is a going to have a massive impact on fish stocks and farmers."

A statement from Valero said the pipeline was "immediately shut down" and isolated following the breach.

It said: "A pollution control team remains on site and is investigating the leak and its potential impact on the local environment, and remedial action is being taken.

"However, at this stage we cannot confirm the cause or volume involved."

Aneurin Cox, south Wales operational resources manager at NRW, said they were working to minimise the risk to public health and the environment.

"Our rivers provide a home to rich, diverse and valuable species of plants and animals so it's important to deal with pollution as quickly as possible," he said.

"We are doing all we can to stop the pollution and reduce its impact on fish and other wildlife that depend on the river."

The Welsh Government said it had been informed of the spill and that the cabinet secretary for environment and rural affairs was being kept updated "as a matter of urgency".

Public Health Wales said it was "unlikely" that anyone exposed to fuel oil for a short period of time would have any long-term health effects.

It advised anyone who gets oil on their skin to remove clothing and wash using soap and water, and if they feel unwell, to seek medical attention.

It also advised that pets be kept away from the polluted water.

Image caption Work is ongoing to establish the extend of the spill

Related Topics

More on this story