HELEN Mary Jones, Plaid Cymru Member of Senedd for the Mid and West Region has today called on Welsh Government to ensure that sufficient resources are available to respond to the environmental damage that will result from the diesel spilled following the train derailment in Llangennech this week.
Helen Mary Jones, MS for Mid and West Region said:
“Residents and local representatives have been full of praise for the immediate response by the emergency services and the Local Authority to this serious incident on Wednesday night. Cooperation and coordination has been exceptional, and every effort was made both to keep residents safe and to reassure them. I have been writing today to all the organisations involved to thank them. Now we have to make sure that this effective cooperation continues in order to address the immediate and longer term environmental impact.
“Whilst the assessment of the damage has only just begun experts are already very concerned about the impact of hundreds of thousands of litres of diesel fuel polluting this important site of special scientific interest. The potential economic impact is also very worrying, particularly with regards to the cockle fishery.
“I have spoken today to Natural Resources Wales. They have explained that Network Rail, as the landowners, have the responsibility for the clean-up operation, and that they have a specialist team that deals with oil spills which is on site today. A forum has been established to facilitate multiagency working, and Natural Resources Wales will work closely with Network Rail to ensure that the damage is properly assessed, and all possible action to mitigate the pollution damage is taken.
“While the main responsibility for the cost of this will rest with Network Rail there will be resource implications for devolved organisations like Natural Resources Wales and the Local Authority. So I have written today to Environment Minister Lesley Griffiths to ask to ensure that any additional funding that devolved bodies need to help them respond to this incident are made available.
“I will be liaising regularly with Natural Resources Wales and Network Rail to scrutinise developments and to help ensure that local residents and the wider community are kept fully informed.”