A fuel company negligently caused a spill of Kerosene when they transferred oil to a redundant tank. The spill led to nearby residents suffering nausea, headaches and sore throats due to the vapours.

The Mid-Devon Council used the Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) Regulations 2009 (EDR) to take steps to remediate the environmental damage. The Council, after taking emergency action, consulted with the fuel company, their insurers and the local residents to decide on appropriate clean up proposals. Following the consultation, a Remediation Notice was given to the company. The Remediation Notice was then discharged once the residents were able to return to their properties.

The Council reported that the EDR focused their attention on dealing with the incident promptly and effectively and provided clarity as to the requirements on relevant parties. The Council also commented that they were aware of the content of Regulation 25 of EDR from the outset. This led to them keeping a detailed log of their enforcement time and costs. They have subsequently billed the fuel company for recoverable costs. Insurer’s loss adjusters also noted that the EDR had allowed them to deal with the investigation and remediation more effi ciently.

This is the fi rst time a local authority has reported using the EDR since its implementation in 2009.