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Up to 10,000 litres of heavy fuel was lost in jetty leak say Valero

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THE MULTI-AGENCY is continuing at the Port of Milford Haven following an oil pollution incident at the Valero Pembroke Refinery, harbour authorities have said.

Valero have today estimated that approximately 7.5-10m³ of heavy fuel oil had leaked overnight on 2/3rd January from a pipe connecting the jetty to the refinery but that by first light the leak had been contained.

That’s between 7,500 and 10,000 litres of fuel.

A  Port spokesperson told The Herald: “As soon as the incident was reported, just after midnight, we instigated our well-rehearsed oil pollution plan in which we have delegated command for the on-water clean-up of oil.  Multiple agencies including Natural Resources Wales, Pembrokeshire County Council, Maritime Coastguard Agency and Valero have been working with us since early hours on 3rd January to survey, clean-up and put in place measures to protect the environment and wildlife.

The spokesperson added: “The MCA are supporting the incident response through the loan of equipment to supplement our own assets.  The 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.

Mid and West Wales Fire Service has also assisted with the loan of drone equipment.

Booming is in place at Sandy Haven and teams are deploying booms around the Gann estuary near Dale, today.

Currently there have been sightings of oil on shore at Dale and Musselwick Bay.  A clean-up operation is underway and agencies will continue to monitor the surrounding shoreline over the coming days.”

Andrea Winterton, Operations Manager from Natural Resources Wales said: “Our priority continues to be to reduce the impact of the oil on the local environment.  We have officers positioned in key locations across the Milford Haven Waterway surveying for signs of pollution washing onshore.

The booms installed yesterday and this morning will remain in place until we are confident that 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.”

Members of the public are asked to be aware, avoid any beached oil if they discover it (particularly if they have dogs) and contact the Natural Resources Wales incident hotline on 03000 653000 if they become aware of any pollution on shore.

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Crocodiles to appear at Folly Farm in early 2020

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A PAIR of crocodiles is set to join the Folly Farm family and be shown off in a new enclosure. The West African Dwarf crocodiles will take their place in the Tropical Trails exhibit next February.

The fascinating reptiles are classified as vulnerable due to being hunted for their meat and having their habitats destroyed. The crocs are labelled as ‘dwarf’ in name only, as both are over five foot long at 29 years old. Folly Farm is re-homing them from Drayton Manor Park, their home for several years, as it is currently renovating its crocodile enclosures.

The female of the duo was caught in the wild as part of the illegal pet trade and seized by customs whilst her male companion was captive-bred at Barcelona Zoo. The two crocs will join sloths, bats and snakes in the Tropical Trails enclosure.

Folly Farm’s zoo curator, Tim Morphew, said: “Tropical Trails seeks to highlight the issues of habitat destruction and the illegal pet trade, so these new additions will be a flagship species for the conservation messages we’re trying to deliver. We’re designing the enclosure to replicate the swampy, forest habitats in Africa with plenty of glass viewing windows so our visitors will get a good view of these powerful creatures.”

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Community Engagement Event in Narberth

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A PART of the roll out of information about the Household Waste and Recycling Changes, Pembrokeshire County Council will have information and advice for local residents.  It is a chance to find out about:

  • Reusable Nappy Scheme
  • Absorbent Hygiene Product collections (AHP’s)
  • Availability of assisted collections
  • Kerbside Sort – New method and new containers
  • Additional recyclable household items
  • Text alerts for collection days

There will also be plans on show of the current active travel routes in Narberth and residents will be able to discuss and comment on how they work for the town and how they could be improved whilst planning for the future.

An officer from Sustrans, the Sustainable Transport Charity, will also demonstrate what has been done so far with the multi user route from Narberth to Haverfordwest and what plans there are for the future.

Cllr. Vic Dennis said

“All 3 of these pieces of work are part of the local efforts to reduce carbon and improve our environment, along with helping us to access and enjoy our environment.  I am delighted that we have staff from County Hall here to advise and answer questions as well as listen to local people.

The roll out for the new recycling and waste collection is planned for 4th November so it will be very timely to have this information available before then.  Join us in the Sports Hall at Bloomfield Community Centre, Narberth between 1-4pm on Weds 23rd October 2019.

I hope that residents from the surrounding area will also take the opportunity to join us to find out more.”

This is a part of a wide information campaign so look out for further information in the press, on social media and on the website at www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/waste-changes

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‘Man o’ war’ creatures wash up on Pembrokeshire shores

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PEMBROKESHIRE residents are being warned to be careful on beaches after sightings of stinging jellyfish.
‘Atlantic Portuguese man o’ war’ have been washed up in Freshwater East and West, Newgale, Amroth and Angle in Pembrokeshire and the coastguard are requesting any sightings to be reported to them immediately.

The creatures, which resemble jellyfish but are a species of siphonophore, cause painful stings if people come in contact with their tentacles. Similar sightings have been reported on beaches in Cornwall and Ireland and it is thought that the recent Storm Lorenzo has brought more of the creatures to the Welsh waters.

Freshwater East Coast Care Group, which has been monitoring numbers at Freshwater beach, said they had collected about 60 of the creatures so far and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park has since warned people not to touch them, not to walk barefoot on the beach and to keep pets away.

A spokesperson for Pembrokeshire Coast National Park said: “If you or your dog are stung and experience severe or lasting pain seek medical or veterinary advice immediately.”

According to National Geographic, the creatures, whose scientific name is Physalia Physalis, look like jellyfish but are not classed as such because what looks like one organism is a colony of organisms, known as polyps, working together.
True jellyfish are single organisms and the ‘man o’ war’ are carnivorous invertebrates and have a gas-filled bladder which floats above the water, and tentacles which deliver their sting. The tentacles can grow up to 165ft (50m) in length so caution is advised if one is spotted at your local beach.

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