Buncefield Update

April 18 2006, Number 3

This update is part of a series covering our ongoing work on the Buncefield Incident.Investigation

The Major Incident Investigations Board released their second progress report on Tuesday 11 April. It focuses mainly on the environmental consequences of the incident.  It can be downloaded from the Board’s website: www.buncefieldinvestigation.gov.uk.

Monitoring boreholes


  • Our latest monitoring information suggests that there is groundwater pollution.  Samples of an oil/water mixture from the water table have been taken from a newly installed borehole in Cherry Tree Lane.  It is hoped to have a fuller picture of the extent of the pollution by mid-May.  However, we need to ensure that the results show a consistent pattern of the pollution and not just one-off results.
  • There is no threat to public water supplies. Three Valleys Water and the Drinking Water Inspectorate are working closely to ensure that drinking water supplies remain of the highest quality.
  • Stored firewaters
  • The oil companies are continuing trials and are investigating a number of novel techniques to minimise any release of contaminants into the environment.  We await proposals so we can assess any accompanying risk assessments.
  • Surface waters
  • Our monitoring continues to show no significant effect on the River Ver.



We recently attended two community meetings in Hemel Hempstead, organised by Dacorum Borough Council, answering questions raised by the public.  We will continue to share information with the public and our partners.