Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Council facing £250,000 diesel leak bill
Bradford Council is facing potential legal action after a diesel spillage from a ruptured underground tank at its Shearbridge Road depot left the surrounding land and a nearby watercourse polluted.
The cost of the clean-up operation and securing other similar diesel tanks has also left the authority with a bill totalling almost £250,000.
Details of the incident, which occurred in April, have been released by the Council as it needs to dip into its reserves to pay the bill for the emergency work.
The Environment Agency was notified of the underground spill, which saw a total of 5,500 litres seeping into the ground and the beck, contaminating both.
Following advice from the agency, boreholes were drilled to assess the likelihood of the fuel spreading and causing contamination. Work has since been ongoing to clear up the diesel using the boreholes and specialist equipment. Preventative action was also needed which saw all three tanks at the depot re-lined to prevent further failures. These are now guaranteed for more than five years.
As a result of the spill the Council’s strategic director for environment and sport, Ian Bairstow, attended an interview under caution with the Environment Agency in July. And due to the pollution caused the Council is under investigation by the agency and could still face legal action.
The Environment Agency told the Telegraph & Argus that it had been working with the Council to rectify the problem, while investigating the incident itself.
A spokesman said: “It is thought that 5,500 litres of diesel was spilled from the underground storage tank, with much of this going into the ground at the site.
“Some diesel did go into Westbrook Beck but it is believed that the spill had a minimal impact on the watercourse. Bradford Council responded quickly to the incident, employing a contractor to limit the dispersion in the beck using booms. A mobile plant is in place to remove the diesel from the groundwater.
“The diesel is being removed via 12 remediation wells, using vacuum equipment. The quality of the groundwater is being tested via ten pre-existing boreholes. The vacuuming, and the monitoring of the water quality of the beck, will continue until the diesel has been cleared.”
Mr Bairstow said: “As soon as the fuel spillage was discovered, Bradford Council staff acted urgently to deal with the effect of the incident and to keep pollution risks to a minimum.
“As the matter is still under investigation, we cannot comment further about the fuel spillage at Shearbridge depot.”