Advertisements

Tag Archive: Environment Agency


Earth Watch Report  –  Environmental Pollution  –  Oil Leak

 

About 150,000 litres of fuel have contaminated soil close to the River Kennet, just upstream from top public school Marlborough College, pictured, in Wiltshire

About 150,000 litres of fuel have contaminated soil close to the River Kennet, just upstream from top public school Marlborough College, pictured, in Wiltshire

…..

Environment PollutionUnited KingdomEngland, Marlborough [Esso pipeline, Wiltshire]Damage levelDetails

 

……

RSOE EDIS

Environment Pollution in United Kingdom on Thursday, 15 May, 2014 at 11:05 (11:05 AM) UTC.

Description
Up to 150,000 litres of fuel leaked into farmland in Marlborough after thieves drilled through a major Esso pipeline. The attack on the pipeline running through the estate of the late multi-millionaire Robert Sangster in Manton happened on April 2, causing a high risk of an explosion. News of the incident, in which a tapping device was used to break into the pipeline 8ft underground, has only just emerged. It pumps fuel from the Fawley Refinery in Hampshire to a distribution terminal in Birmingham. A hose had been connected to the pipe, which carries a range of fuels, and was then hidden with soil. It was disturbed by a farmer, resulting in the leak. Esso does not yet know how much fuel has leaked but says 150,000 litres would be the worst case scenario. A spokesman said: “The pipeline was quickly repaired and has resumed operation and there is no indication of any impact on human health as a result of the leak. “We remain committed to resolving the situation fully. At the moment we are trying to determine whether there has been a leak and if there has, where the fuel has gone.” A 500-metre safety cordon was put into place while the scale of the incident was established and people living nearby moved as a precaution. Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service fire engines, from Marlborough, Calne and Devizes, together with an operational support unit and an incident command vehicle from Swindon. A fire crew remained at the scene for 32 hours as a precaution. Police and the fire service said this week that they didn’t release details of the incident because they were acting on behalf of the Wiltshire and Swindon Local Resilience Forum, a body including fire, police and ambulance, Wiltshire Council and Public Health England, and it was up to the forum to make the incident public. Town councillors were sent an email marked confidential by town clerk Shelley Parker giving brief details of the incident days afterwards. At a full council meeting on Monday Carl Barber, the Marlborough fire crew manager, told councillors: “It’s extremely dangerous. That is an extremely pressurised line at times and it can be a danger.”It was brought to our attention by the police as some was seen to be leaking and it did take 32 hours and seven appliances because our attendance was required while they isolated and dealt with the issue.” Esso has depressurised the pipeline to limit leaks. It says there is still a quantity of diesel and petrol mixture in a hole approximately 1.4 metres deep on the Manton estate. The firm contacted Action for the River Kennet to identify suitable monitoring points along the river in case of pollution. The Environment Agency is working with Public Health England to evaluate the impact on water courses. An Environment Agency spokesman said: “At present there is no impact to the River Kennet, but we continue to monitor the situation closely.” Police in Hampshire are investigating a large quantity of diesel found in a large industrial unit in East Wellow on April 17. It is believed that the tanks found were being filled from a sophisticated system which had tapped into a main fuel line. Two men, aged 32 and 34, from the Salisbury area, were arrested on suspicion of conspiring to steal fuel. They are on bail pending further inquiries. Detectives from Lyndhurst CID in Hampshire are working with other police forces, including Wiltshire, as part of a wider investigation into breaches of fuel lines in the south of England.

 

……

Thieves drill down 8ft into Esso pipeline – and spark major pollution alert at top fishing river

  • 150,000 litres of fuel contaminated soil close to River Kennet in Wiltshire
  • Thieves drilled underground pipeline causing the leak near fishing spot
  • Attack on Esso refinery pipe believed to be first of its kind in Britain

By Alun Rees

Petrol thieves have drilled into an underground pipeline and caused a leak of thousands of litres of fuel next to a popular fishing river, sparking a major environmental alert.

About 150,000 litres of fuel have contaminated soil close to the River Kennet, just upstream from top public school Marlborough College in Wiltshire.

Police are investigating the attack on the Esso refinery pipeline, believed to be the first of its kind in the UK.

150,000 litres of fuel have contaminated soil close to the River Kennet, pictured, in Wiltshire

150,000 litres of fuel have contaminated soil close to the River Kennet, pictured, in Wiltshire

 

A Wiltshire Police source told The Mail on Sunday: ‘We’re used to fuel being stolen from farms by rural criminals but this is quite a step further. Two men have been detained in the Somerset area with a large amount of illicit fuel but at this stage we don’t know if the two incidents are linked.’

The theft was from the Midline pipeline, which carries fuel from the Fawley Refinery near Southampton to the Birmingham Fuels Terminal.

 

Read More Here

……

 

 

……

Enhanced by Zemanta
Advertisements

 

Image Source 

…..

Monsanto under investigation for ‘illegal dumping’

by SEAN POULTER

Last updated at 18:04 12 February 2007

 

Monsanto is under investigation amid allegations it sanctioned the dumping of toxic waste on sites across the country despite evidence that it would poison the landscape for generations.

The activities of the US chemical giant, best-known in the UK for its support of GM farming, are being examined by the government’s Environment Agency and public health bodies.

The focus of the investigation is a site in south Wales that has been called ‘one of the most contaminated’ in the country.

It appears that toxic chemicals were dumped in the Brofiscin quarry in the 1960s and 1970s despite the fact there was no licence for these materials and the site was not lined or sealed.

This meant a cocktail of highly poisonous chemicals has been able to escape into the environment and threatens to poison local streams and rivers.

The quarry, which is on the edge of the village of Groesfaen, near Cardiff, first erupted in 2003, spilling fumes over the surrounding area.

Since then surveys have found that 67 chemicals, including Agent Orange derivatives, dioxins and PCBs which could have been made only by Monsanto, are leaking from the site.

The Environment Agency says that if the dumping were to take place today there would be a criminal prosecution and civil action to raise the money needed to clean up the site.

However, it appears that much of the dumping was carried out during years when Britain’s regime for environmental protection was more lax.

Consequently, there are doubts as to how far any legal action can go or which companies should be liable for clean-up costs that are expected to run into tens of millions of pounds.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “Our overall aim is to understand the current risks to ground water and surface waters and to determine the most cost-effective way forward to protect the local environment and to recover costs from those liable.”

 

Read More Here

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Irish Times

Weather due to improve over coming days, forecasters predict

British prime minister David Cameron meets soldiers from the  Royal Gurkha Rifles, at a military command centre in Chertsey, southern England. Photograph: Paul Hackett/ReutersBritish prime minister David Cameron meets soldiers from the Royal Gurkha Rifles, at a military command centre in Chertsey, southern England. Photograph: Paul Hackett/Reuters

Sun, Feb 16, 2014, 11:41

   

The military could have been brought in earlier to help deal with the winter storms that have been wracking Britain, a Government minister has admitted.

As the weather finally gave the country a respite, defence secretary Philip Hammond defended the government’s handling of the crisis. He said Royal Engineers were now being tasked to carry out a high-speed assessment of “serious” to damage the UK’s flood defence infrastructure.

But Mr Hammond conceded that in future the Government would involve the military earlier in the process, and be more “aggressive” in urging local authorities to use troops. Swathes of the UK remain on high alert as people battle to protect their homes and communities from the floodwaters, which are still expected to rise in places despite the break in the storms.

The Environment Agency (EA) has 16 severe flood warnings in place for the South West and the Thames Valley, with almost 150 flood warnings and 230

Read More Here

Enhanced by Zemanta

More misery in store for the Midlands and south-west

Lives could be in danger in parts of the south-west and in the Midlands, where the Environment Agency has issued nine severe flood warnings – its highest level of alert.

The Cornwall and North Devon coasts are expect to bear the brunt of the weather, along with the River Severn near Gloucester, and 178 more flood warnings have been issued across England and Wales.

Cobra, the government’s emergency committee, has met to address the issue amid growing calls for a permanent solution.

A month of torrential downpours has seen some parts of England suffer the wettest January since records began more than 100 years ago, and the start of February is not looking promising.

Kate Marks, the Environment Agency’s flood risk manager, said: “A low pressure system combining with high tides brings a risk of coastal flooding to many parts of England over the weekend.

…..

UK flooding: Environment Agency boss Lord Smith engulfed in crisis over his 11 jobs

Lord Smith, chairman of the Environment Agency, comes under fire over the floods

armer James Winslade stands in front of bales of animal feed as he surveys flooded land at his farm in Moorland

Farmer James Winslade stands in front of bales of animal feed as he surveys flooded land at his farm in Moorland Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Lord Smith’s leadership of the Environment Agencyis in crisis following the flooding gripping parts of Britain.

Sources have accused Lord Smith, a Cabinet minister in Tony Blair’s Labour government, of “keeping his head down” despite parts of the country being submerged for weeks.

Allegations that he is “too distracted” by having too many jobs — in all Lord Smith has 11 paid and unpaid posts — have added to the growing concern in Whitehall.

Although he is due to step down as chairman of the Environment Agency in June, a source said: “There is no way he would get back in even if he wanted to reapply for his post.”

Lord Smith has insisted the agency is doing all it can in the face of the wettest January in history and has pointed out that — unlike the North Sea floods of 1953 when more than 300 people died — lives have been protected through the hard work of his staff.

However, the agency has faced severe criticism, particularly over its alleged failure to dredge rivers on the Somerset Levels. One local MP accused the body of failing to spend its resources on flood defences and instead diverting millions of pounds to bird sanctuaries.

Ian Liddell-Grainger, MP for Bridgwater in Somerset, said: “We’re just sick to death of it [flooding]. They [the Environment Agency] need to dredge these rivers, stop spending money — £31 million — on bird sanctuaries and spend £5 million, that’s all we want, to sort this out.

“What comes first is the humans. I’m afraid the birds will fly off elsewhere.”

The Telegraph can also disclose that the Environment Agency undertook detailed computer modelling on the impact of dredging in 2012, which showed that dredging would have “significantly reduce[d] the duration and depth of flooding” in the worst hit areas.

Residents of the Somerset Levels piled further pressure on the agency after tests showed stagnant flood water had left gardens “awash with unsafe bacteria”.

Read More Here

Enhanced by Zemanta

Gusts of almost 80mph hit coastal areas, as storms and floods wreak more havoc in Britain and the Republic of Ireland.

Flooding in Somerset

Video: Anger In Somerset Over Flooding

Enlarge

Sky News Weather Forecast

The latest update from the Sky News weather team.

Video: Sky News UK Weather Forecast

Enlarge

Heavy rains, large waves and strong winds wreaked havoc in Britain and Ireland today, cancelling flights and sparking a “significant risk to life” warning.

The worst of the weather was battering the Republic of Ireland but gusts were expected to pick up across Wales and southern parts of England during the day.

The Environment Agency warned “extraordinary measures” may be taken in Gloucestershire today to keep back tidal and river floods.

Large waves caused by high winds and spring tides batter the coastal town of Lahinc
Large waves caused by high winds and spring tides batter Lahinc

It issued severe flood warnings – meaning there is an imminent danger to life – for several parts of the county and the coasts of Cornwall and north Devon.

Further warnings are in place along the length of the River Severn amid fears it could burst its banks. It also warned the risk of flooding could continue into next week.

Flood barriers have already been installed in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, and Bewdley, Worcestershire, as the water level rises.

King's Island in central Limerick
Flooding in central Limerick, Ireland (pic: Sean Keogh/@Fame_For_Sale)

A statement issued by the agency said: “Gales, large waves and high tides present a danger to life and are expected to result in overtopping of sea walls and defences causing flooding to properties along with disruption to travel.

“The risk of flooding will continue into next week, with the Met Office forecasting further heavy rainfall across southern England and Wales.

“This rain will fall in areas where ground water and river levels are already high, bringing an ongoing risk of flooding.”

Lesser warnings remain in place for many parts of Britain, including the already blighted Somerset Levels and west Wales, where 49 flood warnings and 15 alerts have been issued this morning.

A street in Limerick
Residents in Limerick paddle down the road in a boat. Pic: Anne Sheridan
Customers in the Anchor Bleu pub
The Anchor Bleu in Bosham (pic Stephen Sumner)

Tests for Sky News have found floodwater in Somerset, where the floods have persisted for weeks, contains 60 times the amount of safe bacteria for agricultural water.

In the Republic of Ireland, there were reports of severe flooding in Limerick City with the river Shannon bursting its banks.

With gusts of almost 80mph in coastal areas of the country, several parts were hit by flooding and at one stage 5,500 homes and properties were left without power, 4,000 of them in Ennis, Co Clare.

Flights out of Dublin airport were affected because of the gales force winds. Flights to Manchester, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Cardiff, Paris and Madrid had to be cancelled.

Isabel Webster, reporting from the River Parrett in Burrowbridge, Somerset, tweeted at 8.30am: “High tide in Burrowbridge this morning. It’s just touching the sand bags.”

Minutes later she tweeted: “Water is seeping through giant sandbags onto road beyond at high tide here in Burrowbridge.”

Read More Here

…..

Sky News

Britain, Ireland lashed by wild weather

Updated: 07:27, Sunday February 2, 2014

Britain, Ireland lashed by wild weather

Heavy rains, large waves and strong winds wreaked havoc in Britain and Ireland today, cancelling flights and sparking a ‘significant risk to life’ warning.

The worst of the weather was battering the Republic of Ireland but gusts were expected to pick up across Wales and southern parts of England during the day.

The Environment Agency warned ‘extraordinary measures’ may be taken in Gloucestershire to keep back tidal and river floods.

It issued severe flood warnings – meaning there is an imminent danger to life – for several parts of the county and the coasts of Cornwall and north Devon.

Further warnings are in place along the length of the River Severn amid fears it could burst its banks. It also warned the risk of flooding could continue into next week.

Flood barriers have already been installed in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, and Bewdley, Worcestershire, as the water level rises.

A statement issued by the agency said: ‘Gales, large waves and high tides present a danger to life and are expected to result in overtopping of sea walls and defences causing flooding to properties along with disruption to travel.

‘The risk of flooding will continue into next week, with the Met Office forecasting further heavy rainfall across southern England and Wales.

‘This rain will fall in areas where ground water and river levels are already high, bringing an ongoing risk of flooding.’

Lesser warnings remain in place for many parts of Britain, including the already blighted Somerset Levels and west Wales, where 49 flood warnings and 15 alerts have been issued this morning.

Read More Here

…..

Enhanced by Zemanta

Earth Watch Report  –  Extreme Weather

The Met Office said the storrm is moving to the north of the UK but winds are expected to be less strong and much of the country will have showers (Photo: Photopress Belfast)

…..

The River Mole in Leatherhead UK has burst its banks for the fourth time in three weeks

The River Mole in Leatherhead, UK, has burst its banks for the fourth time in three weeks [GETTY]

…..

Extreme Weather United Kingdom [Nationwide] Damage level Details

…..

Extreme Weather in United Kingdom on Monday, 20 January, 2014 at 03:55 (03:55 AM) UTC.

Description
Torrential downpours and 80mph gales threaten to sweep already devastated regions, the Daily Express reads. Up to two inches of rain is expected in parts amid warnings that the ground is still saturated and river levels are dangerously high. A series of Atlantic low-pressure systems will trigger at least a week of storms with nowhere escaping the deluge, experts say. The Environment Agency has 132 flood alerts and 21 more serious flood warnings in place across the UK. It warned that communities in the South face further misery with river levels along the Thames, Avon, Stour and Severn still high.

…..

UK weather: Woman dead and sailor missing as storms batter UK

A woman has died and a sailor is still missing after storms battered much of the UK, as flood alerts are issued across the country

A woman has died and a sailor is still missing after rain and gale force winds battered much of Britain.

Winds of up to 90mph are forecast for parts of Northern Ireland and western Scotland while flood warnings are in place in the South West and the Midlands.

The Met Office said today will be windy and warnings for ice have been issued for parts of Wales and the West Midlands.

A 23-year-old woman died in the Republic of Ireland when a tree fell on her car near Mullingar in Co Westmeath and a search for the sailor, who fell overboard from a ship on the River Trent in north Lincolnshire, was called off on Wednesday night.

The Met Office said the storrm is moving to the north of the UK but winds are expected to be less strong and much of the country will have showers (Photo: Photopress Belfast)

A 19-year-old man was also injured and taken to hospital when his car was hit by a falling tree in Warwickshire.

The Met Office said the storm is moving to the north of the UK but winds are expected to be less strong and much of the country will have showers.

Read More and Watch Video Here

Related Articles

…..

express_logo

Storms to bring more flood chaos across the UK

BRITAIN’S flood misery shows no signs of letting up with another week of storms on the way.

Published: Mon, January 20, 2014

The River Mole in Leatherhead UK has burst its banks for the fourth time in three weeks The River Mole in Leatherhead, UK, has burst its banks for the fourth time in three weeks [GETTY]

Torrential downpours and 80mph gales threaten to sweep already devastated regions.

Up to two inches of rain is expected in parts amid warnings that the ground is still saturated and river levels are dangerously high.

A series of Atlantic low-pressure systems will trigger at least a week of storms with nowhere escaping the deluge, experts say.

The Environment Agency has 132 flood alerts and 21 more serious flood warnings in place across the UK. It warned that communities in the South face further misery with river levels along the Thames, Avon, Stour and Severn still high.

A spokesman said: “Communities across southern England will continue to face the risk of flooding as further showers and rain are forecast.

“Ongoing river flooding on the Somerset Levels could cause further flooding in the county, groundwater flooding is also possible in Wiltshire.

“There also remains a risk of groundwater flooding in parts of Dorset, Hampshire, West Sussex, West Berkshire and Surrey.”

Read More here

…..

Enhanced by Zemanta

 

Published time: January 04, 2014 09:58
Edited time: January 04, 2014 17:44
Waves crash against the coastal wall in the village of Carnlough as high tides and strong winds cause some flooding in coastal areas of Northern Ireland January 3, 2014. (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton)

Waves crash against the coastal wall in the village of Carnlough as high tides and strong winds cause some flooding in coastal areas of Northern Ireland January 3, 2014. (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton)

 

 

 

Coastal areas in the south and west of the UK have been swept with waves of up to 10 meters (30 feet) high, causing flooding and destruction. With around a hundred flood warnings active on Saturday, the country could yet expect more severe storms.

 

Gale force winds accompanied by monster waves, twice the height of a double-decker bus, eroded Britain’s Atlantic coast on Friday. Dozens of houses were flooded, piers damaged, roads and railway tracks, including major ones, affected.

At Heathrow several flights had trouble landing because of the wind, while connections to and from Gatwick were hampered by the bad weather.

More than a hundred flood warnings were issued by Environment Agency Saturday morning. Four of those were severe. That was one-fifth Friday’s rate. However weather forecasts for the coming days say it’s not yet time to relax.

We certainly do have worse to come, we know that we’ve got another band of weather coming in on Sunday which is going to bring along what we call fluvial flooding, that’s flooding to the rivers,” The Telegraph cited warning from Chris Bainger, spokesperson for the Environment Agency.

The areas of particular risk pinpointed by the agency included the Devon and Cornwall coastlines, Dorset, the Welsh coast and the Scilly Isles.

 

Waves crash over the promenade at hightide in Saundersfoot, in west Wales January 3, 2014. (Reuters/Rebecca Naden)

Waves crash over the promenade at hightide in Saundersfoot, in west Wales January 3, 2014. (Reuters/Rebecca Naden)

Natural Resources Wales’ statement predicted the region was going to be exposed to “the highest tide to hit the whole Welsh coast since 1997.”

Some of the residents of Newport in south Wales were evacuated on Friday. People in the “yellow-alert” areas across Britain have been told to have their bags packed in case of an emergency.

The bad weather has also affected Northern Ireland, where in Belfast police have been delivering sandbags and have issued a warning to people in the Sydenham and Docks areas to prepare for potential flooding and the possibility of evacuation, according to The Belfast Telegraph.

The Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted his thanks to the emergency services and said that 200,000 properties have been protected by flood defenses over the last 36 hours.

The rough weather attracted a lot of sightseers to the piers and harbors, despite police cautions for people to stay away from seafront areas. Social networks of UK internet users have been deluged with images of the enormous waves and their impact.

 

Read More Here

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

DAHBOO77

Published on Dec 30, 2013

The more more rain and flooding, the better the chances are for seeing sinkholes!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/artic…

…..

130ft-deep SINK-HOLE opens up in sodden Derbyshire fields as forecasters warn wild, wild weather will continue for a MONTH

  • Met Office says that strong winds and heavy rain are expected to continue until the end of January
  • New storms will sweep across the UK this week sending the number of flooded homes to more than 2,000
  • Tens of thousands of homes were without power over Christmas and 130 were connected on Sunday after five days
  • Government urges power networks to cancel New Year holidays as more storms head for Britain in coming week
  • Some 126 flood alerts and 8 more serious flood warnings are in place across the country, with number set to rise
  • Dartford Bridge was closed for second time in a week, with south-bound drivers diverted via the east bore tunnel

By Rebecca Evans and Gerri Peev and Martin Robinson

|

Torrential downpours over Christmas have caused a rare sink-hole to appear in the Peak District, which is 130ft deep and growing.

Part of the Milldam lead mine near Buxton in Derbyshire caved-in overnight on Sunday and swallowed a field as terrible weather continued to plague most of Britain.

Electricity engineers visited the site yesterday to assess how to re-route cables after two poles were left standing precariously either side of the 160ft wide hole, caused when water erodes the earth underneath and causes the whole area to collapse.

Meanwhile it emerged yesterday that Britain should brace itself for an entire month of violent weather, which could cause the number of homes currently flooded more than double to 2,000 by the end of the week.

Rural idyll: With the rolling Peak District in the background, the 130ft deep and 160ft wide gash in the landscape has appeared overnight after the earth beneath it collapsed

Rural idyll: With the rolling Peak District in the background, the 130ft deep and 160ft wide gash in the landscape has appeared overnight after the earth beneath it collapsed

Power problems: Engineers will examine the site for damage to cables which they may have to re-route

Power problems: Engineers will examine the site for damage to cables which they may have to re-route

Trouble: The River Afton in New Cumnock, Ayrshire, broke its banks after heavy rain ovenight causing major flooding in the area and blocking a main road

Trouble: The River Afton in New Cumnock, Ayrshire, broke its banks after heavy rain ovenight causing major flooding in the area and blocking a main road

Three day forecast

Yesterday commuters suffered a miserable return to work after Christmas as bad weather again caused havoc on the roads and railways.

A number of major road routes were blocked by flooding or by fallen trees while landslips added to the problems for train travellers whose services were already disrupted by planned engineering work.

Persistent rain swept across the country yesterday and will return to drench New Year’s Eve revellers.

SINKHOLES TAKE SECONDS TO OPEN AND CAN STRETCH FOR MILES

Sinkholes are found worldwide and can be more than 2000ft deep and dozens of miles wide.

The ground beneath is normally made of easily-dissolved rocks such as limestone, carbonates and salt beds.

When groundwater flows through these rocks, it eats away at them, leaving behind subterranean holes and caverns.

When the roof of one of these caverns collapses, the land above it falls in too, often in seconds. The world’s largest is Qattara near Cairo, measuring 80km long by 120km wide.

Similar smaller holes have engulfed residential streets, often claiming lives.

Then from New Year’s Day tomorrow, storms and rain can be expected for the foreseeable future, forecasters warn. ‘There is no end in sight,’ said a Met Office spokesman.

The Environment Agency said there was a continuing risk of flooding, particularly in the south west of England, as rivers respond to heavy rainfall overnight.

For the past five days energy companies have scrambled to reconnect power to tens of thousands of homes left in the dark since Christmas Eve but bosses have admitted that their efforts were hampered by engineers being on holiday.

At its peak, more than half a million homes were left without electricity, but as of Sunday night this figure was down to 130, which are now said to be reconnected.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said he has pressed energy companies to stop staff taking new year holidays as a second week of storms looks set to derail the festive period.

‘Quite clearly some of the power companies let their customers down badly,’ he told BBC Breakfast.

‘It seems obvious at this stage that they let too many of their staff go away for the Christmas holiday, they didn’t have enough people manning the call centres and that wasn’t acceptable.’

He continued: ‘We have had bad weather overnight and we are looking to more bad weather unfortunately on New Year’s Day, New Year’s night. We made it very clear at Cobra – we do expect the power companies and we also expect those local councils that did not perform, that they have adequate staff to cater with what I am afraid may be more difficult times and more flooding.’

The minister added that he had chaired another emergency meeting to make plans for the continuing bad weather forecast for later this week.

‘I don’t want to see people left without power for days again,’ he said. ‘The Environment Agency will once again be out day and night and I have met their teams in Kent to see for myself how preparations are going.’

More disruption: After a nightmare Christmas week roads all over the UK have been blocked by floods and landslides caused by heavy rain, still making the Monday commute completely miserable for many

More disruption: After a nightmare Christmas week roads all over the UK have been blocked by floods and landslides caused by heavy rain, still making the Monday commute completely miserable for many

Danger: A vast swathe of rain has crossed the UK and now sits over the north-west and most of Scotland, which means there is a continued heightened flood risk

Danger: A vast swathe of rain has crossed the UK and now sits over the north-west and most of Scotland, which means there is a continued heightened flood risk

However, Labour’s environment spokesman criticised Mr Paterson for ‘pointing the finger’ at workers when he was ‘not been seen for days’ himself.

‘As the country faces more severe weather, households that went a week without power and suffered devastating flooding expect to see some action from ministers at long last, not attempts to pass the buck,’ Maria Eagle said.

‘Of course the energy companies must explain why it took so long to get power restored, but Owen Paterson has a nerve pointing the finger at staff being on holiday when he himself has not been seen for days.’

Energy bosses will be called before MPs to explain why so many homes were left without power for so long, it emerged yesterday.

Tim Yeo, chairman of the energy select committee, said the firms’ performance was ‘unacceptable’ and warned that they had to be ‘properly scrutinised’ by the power watchdog in future.

‘I’m very concerned about how long the network distribution companies took to restore power to thousands of customers,’ he told the Daily Telegraph. ‘The committee will call them in when the House gets back.

‘I’m already concerned that these distribution companies are not properly scrutinised by Ofgem, despite being effectively monopolies. Their performance over Christmas was unacceptable.’

Basil Scarsella, chief executive of one of the country’s biggest power distributors, UK Power Networks, said: ‘We could not have avoided the damage caused by the storm but we could have responded to it better.

‘A lot of our employees had gone away for holidays so it meant we had a level of depletion in our resources – and that caused problems with getting people’s power restored.

‘It’s difficult to justify saying the company has performed well when customers have been without power for five days, but once we had an idea of how bad it was we were able to mobilise as many engineers and office staff as possible.’

The company, which owns electricity lines and cables in London, the South-East and East of England, said it will triple payments for 48 to 60-hour outages from £27 to £75 for those affected on Christmas Day as ‘a gesture of goodwill’.

Despite being a normal working day for many, many rail and some Tube services were disrupted because of engineering work.

Picture of Britain: Dozens of flood alerts and more serious flood warnings remain in place across the country, with the majority in the west and south-west of the UK

Picture of Britain: Dozens of flood alerts and more serious flood warnings remain in place across the country, with the majority in the west and south-west of the UK

Read More and Watch Videos Here

…..

Enhanced by Zemanta

Earth Watch Report  –  Extreme Weather

 

A man stands up to his waist in flood water in a residential street in Rhyl, north Wales December 5, 2013. REUTERS-Phil Noble

A man stands up to his waist in flood water in a residential street in Rhyl, north Wales December 5, 2013.

…..

Extreme Weather Germany Schleswig-Holstein, [NorthWestern regions] Damage level Details

…..

Extreme Weather in Germany on Thursday, 05 December, 2013 at 14:34 (02:34 PM) UTC.

 

Description
Weather forecasters predicted winds gusting up to 140km per hour on Germany’s North Sea coast. Britain’s Environment Agency said tidal surges could bring “significant” coastal flooding, and the Thames Barrier was closed to protect London. Ferry operators canceled services to some of Germany’s North Sea islands and the country’s national railway, Deutsche Bahn, warned of likely disruption across a swathe of northern Germany. The German Weather Service said the storm front, which was gathering strength as it headed eastwards from the Atlantic Ocean off Greenland, would also bring polar air to Europe – meaning that it could bring snow to low-lying areas.

…..

Extreme Weather in Germany on Thursday, 05 December, 2013 at 14:34 (02:34 PM) UTC.

 

Back

 

Updated: Thursday, 05 December, 2013 at 14:44 UTC
Description
Weather services in Northern Europe on Wednesday issued severe weather warnings and forecast traffic disruptions, the day before a powerful Atlantic storm was expected to hit. Northern Germany was also bracing for hurricane-force gales, potentially surpassing 140 kilometres per hour, expected to start Thursday and last into Friday. A mixture of snow and rain accompanied by Arctic temperatures was also expected as the storm called Xaver neared. Hamburg was expected to be among the worst-hit regions, and its airport already was warning passengers Wednesday to be on alert for delays and cancellations. Storm surges are also feared. A similar storm and flooding in 1962 left about 315 dead in the Hamburg area. The force of the storm was expected to be felt well into Germany’s interior. Building owners were urged to safeguard their properties. There was also a general call for proprietors of stalls at Christmas markets to secure their wares amid fears that the winds might be strong enough to blow away the temporary stands.

…..

Extreme Weather in Germany on Thursday, 05 December, 2013 at 14:34 (02:34 PM) UTC.

 

Back

 

Updated: Thursday, 05 December, 2013 at 14:47 UTC
Description
Germany’s northern cities are bracing for hurricane-strength storm Xaver which meteorologists expect to reach up to 160 kilometers per hour, bringing snow and floods. Municipalities in the federal states of Hamburg, Bremen and Schleswig-Holstein have taken emergency measures against expected floods. 400 full-time firefighters are supported by 2,500 volunteers in Hamburg, the city’s fire department told German press. Schools will be closed on Thursday in most northern Germany cities. Xaver has already caused flight delays and cancelations during the early hours of Thursday at Hamburg airport, as rail services also suffered delays and cancelations. The hurricane-strength storm is expected to intensify over the afternoon. Hamburg was hit by a strong storm and flood in 1962 which killed 315 people and left thousands homeless, but Xaver is not expected to reach such severe levels.

…..

Extreme Weather in Germany on Thursday, 05 December, 2013 at 14:34 (02:34 PM) UTC.

 

Back

 

Updated: Friday, 06 December, 2013 at 18:01 UTC
Description
In Germany, about 4,000 people in the northern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern had no power on Friday, schools were closed and about 70 flights at Hamburg airport were cancelled. Officials said floodwaters in the northern German port city of Hamburg rose to 6.09 meters above normal levels early on Friday, the highest level in decades. All 38 flood-gates in Hamburg were closed earlier on Friday. A high-speed rail line running 300 km between Germany’s two largest cities Hamburg and Berlin was blocked on Friday by debris on the tracks. Stranded passengers were transferred to buses, according to Deutsche Bahn officials.

…..

 

Hurricane-force winds wreak havoc in Britain, head to Europe

 

BERLIN/LONDON Thu Dec 5, 2013 10:57pm GMT

 

 

A van drives through seawater washed onto the promenade of the north bay in Scarborough, northern England December 5, 2013. REUTERS-Nigel Roddis

1 of 14. A van drives through seawater washed onto the promenade of the north bay in Scarborough, northern England December 5, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Nigel Roddis

 

 

(Reuters) – Hurricane-force Storm Xaver blasted towards mainland Europe on Thursday after cutting transport and power in northern Britain and killing three people in what meteorologists warned could be the worst storm to hit the continent in years.

 

British authorities said the Thames Barrier, designed to protect London from flooding during exceptional tides, would shut on Thursday night and warned of “the most serious coastal tidal surge for over 60 years in England”. Prime Minister David Cameron called two emergency meetings to discuss strategy.

 

Two people were killed in Britain as the nation’s weather office measured winds of up to 225 km per hour (140 mph) when the storm slammed Scotland and parts of England.

 

Read More Here

 

…..

 

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Sellafield beaches

Image Source

***************************************************************************

Sellafield fined for sending radioactive waste to landfill

 

The error was attributed to failures in leadership and management at the site.

The bags, which contained waste such as plastic, tissues and clothing, should have been sent to a specialist facility that treats and stores low-level radioactive waste. But instead a number of mistakes led to them being sent to Lillyhall landfill site which deals with conventional waste in Workington, Cumbria.

This breached the conditions of Sellafield’s environmental permit and the Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations.

At Carlisle Crown Court the firm was fined £700,000 and ordered to pay an additional £72,635.34 costs.

Sellafield found the error was caused by the wrong configuration of a new monitor which passed the bags as “general” waste, making them exempt from strict disposal controls.

The Environment Agency and the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) carried out an investigation and the bags were retrieved from the landfill and returned to Sellafield.

They were then disposed of correctly.

Read More Here