Posted: Sat 4th May 2024

Natural Resources Wales confirms formaldehyde entered River Alyn following Synthite fire

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales


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Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is no longer urging people to avoid the River Alyn in Mold.

A warning had been issued for the public to avoid areas around the river and keep animals away from the water after around 50 fish were found dead following a fire at a chemical factory in Mold earlier this week.

Firefighters were called to a blaze at the Synthite chemical manufacturing site at Denbigh Road just after 2pm on Tuesday.

Residents in the area were advised to keep their doors and windows closed as explosions were heard at the plant.

Despite Synthite stating that no formaldehyde had been released during the incident, NRW has confirmed that the chemical has been found in the River Alyn.

A multi-agency response to the incident at the site is ongoing, ‘and its subsequent effects on the environment,’ NRW said.

Lyndsey Rawlinson from Natural Resources Wales said:

“Following the fire at the Synthite Factory, we have continuously monitored the Rivers Alyn and Dee to understand the impact, and we can confirm that a chemical called formaldehyde entered the River Alyn.”

“Our monitoring work has confirmed that we are no longer asking people not to go near the River Alyn.”

“Around-the-clock monitoring will continue, and we are in continuous contact with multi-agency partners, including emergency services, health departments, local government, and water companies, as we continue to work together to minimise the fire’s impact on the community and environment.”

The A541 Denbigh Road, which runs past the site, has remained closed since the fire broke out on Tuesday, causing ‘mayhem’ according to one resident.”

In a statement on Wednesday, a spokesperson for Synthite said: “The fire was contained to a production facility and an adjacent storage area. No chemicals were released during or after the incident, with frequent air monitoring in place.”

However, on Thursday, NRW said in an email to the office of Delyn MP Rob Roberts, “During our sampling of the River Alyn, we detected that formaldehyde was present in the river. Although the Fire and Rescue Service had been containing all the fire water, clearly the chemical was still getting into the river from the site, and investigations are ongoing to determine the points of entry.”

“To ensure no further pollutants get into the river, all fire water is now being tankered off-site.”

Firefighting operations have been suspended since Thursday evening, and North Wales Fire and Rescue Service “continues to maintain a watching brief.”

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