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Eastbourne & Willingdon Lib Dems

Noxious Haze

August 26, 2017 11:15 AM
By Stephen Lloyd MP

The latest reports that I've received from the Environment Agency are that the Marine and Coastguard Agency are, most likely, pinning the gas on one of up to 180 ships who were in the vicinity around the time of the gas cloud. The challenge they tell me is identifying which ship, as they are unlikely to own up to doing what appears to have been an illegal act, plus the boats can only be properly assessed when they berth.

I am frustrated that none of the bodies involved appear to have thought to take immediate air samples of the haze, so we all remain unclear what it's make up actually was. This, if true, is a systemic breakdown which is unacceptable. Consequently I will be writing to all the relevant CEO's to ask their Agency's draft a robust protocol for air samples to be collected as soon as practicably possible in future similar incidents, so we can be reassured that such an apparent oversight won't happen again.

For instance a chemist over the weekend told me that it could be as simple as blowing a bicycle pump into a plastic bag in the affected area and then sealing it for checking later. Simple, effective but not, it appears, done by any of the statutory bodies dealing with the problem this time.

I will though keep pressing the authorities to publish whatever information they do have, as without that we are all none the wiser. Not a good place to be in regard to preparedness for future incidents or to reassure people who were affected last Sunday week.