Oil spill probe continues

INVESTIGATIONS into this month's oil spill which damaged the River Orwell in Ipswich are today continuing – but it is still likely to be some time before any decision is taken on legal action.

INVESTIGATIONS into this month's oil spill which damaged the River Orwell in Ipswich are today continuing - but it is still likely to be some time before any decision is taken on legal action.

The leak caused problems on the river, and there were fears that it could affect swans who live in the waterfront area.

They were badly affected last September when oil leaked from a vessel moored at Cliff Quay, but this time the smaller amount of oil did not reach the wet dock.

A spokeswoman for the Environment Agency said: "We managed to find out where the oil was getting into the river and stopped it.

"We are now investigating the incident fully - and that could ultimately lead to legal action, but it could be several months before any final decision is made on that."

There were fears earlier this week that some swans had been affected by the oil after members of the public reported they had seen them with oil on their feathers.

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However after investigations by RSPCA officials, Environment Agency staff and the Ipswich Port harbourmaster they were convinced that oiling was not a problem.

RSPCA inspector Marc Niepold said: "It is just that some of the swans are still losing their cygnet plummage, they don't have oil on them."

Last Septembers oil spill was investigated by officials from Associated British Ports who, as the Ipswich Port Authority, are responsible for managing the port area.

There has still been no decision on whether there should be any prosecution - that is expected to become clearer over the next few weeks.

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