A NUMBER of fish have been found dead after recycling plant blaze polluted the nearby river in Gwent.

The emergency services were scrambled to a fire at Penallta industrial estate in Caerphilly earlier in the week.

Approximately 150 tonnes of recycling material including, plastic, foam, electrical items, lead batteries, and gas cylinders is estimated to have caught fire alongside machinery.

But, while crews from South Wales Fire were able to tackle the fire, which broke out on Wednesday afternoon (September 1) – it has come at a cost.

Following the incident, a large amount of oil and petrol has entered a stream near to the industrial estate.

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Today - Friday, September 3 - Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has confirmed that a number of fish have been found dead as a result of this pollution.

Efforts are currently ongoing to minimise the damage to the local ecosystem.

This includes placing bunding and matting in the Nant Cylla, a tributary of the river Rhymney, and booms and pads in local water courses to absorb any oil and petrol run off from the site.

Dams have also been created in nearby brooks and four-inch pipes inserted to let clear water through.

This work is part of a multi-agency operation, with NRW officers, Spill Response Wales and the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS) all involved.

It has been confirmed that NRW officers will continue to monitor the area over the next few days and are advising people to avoid contact with the water in the Nant Cylla and nearby water courses whilst recovery and clean-up operations take place.

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What has been said about the clean-up effort?

David Letellier, duty tactical manager for Natural Resources Wales said: “Our officers have been on site at the industrial estate to support SWFRS and work with our partners to reduce the risk to the environment and local community.

“Fires can have a serious impact on people and the environment , so it’s imperative we work with our multi agency partners throughout the incident to help safeguard local residents and the environment.

“We’ll continue to monitor the impact on air quality and local watercourses over the coming days and ensure the necessary measures are in place to minimise the impact this has on the environment”

Station commander for South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Mark Kift, said: “Multiple crews from various Stations in the South Wales area attended the scene and upon arrival were faced with a well-developed fire. Crews worked tirelessly to tackle the fire and utilised their training and a range of resources to prevent the fire from spreading and affecting other areas.

“As of this morning (Friday, September 3rd 2021) our firefighters are no longer in attendance at the scene of the incident and thanks to a combined multi-agency operation, we were able to contain and extinguish the fire.

“The clean-up process is now underway and we would like to remind local residents that the recycling plant remains closed at this time and to follow any guidance from NRW and Public Health Wales regarding the surrounding area."

Anyone who may have any environmental concerns can get in touch with Natural Resources Wales by calling 0300 065 3000, which is open 24 hours day.