Stowmarket news

Chemical Spill in Stowmarket
Chemical Spill in Stowmarket
Have your say

A paint factory is appealing for comments from residents and businesses on its emergency plan following two chemical spills last year.

PPG, in Needham Road, Stowmarket, is required to have an up-to-date framework of what to do in an emergency to protect employees, local residents and the environment.

It will hold a meeting with Suffolk’s Local Authorities Joint Emergency Planning Unit on Wednesday.

The consultation is in the wake of a leak of liquid phthalicanhydride, a chemical used in making car paint, last January.

It followed a similar incident four days earlier when thousands of litres of potentially flammable solvent liquid escaped from a reactor vessel.

In both cases, the plant was evacuated and firefighters used a blanket of foam to contain the leaks. No-one was injured and there was no environmental damage.

Since then the international manufacturer of paints and coatings has worked closely with the Health and Safety Executive and Environment Agency to reduce the risk of incidents re-occuring.

It has also made improvements to its emergency plans.

Keith Fawkner-Simpson, emergency planning officer for the Joint Emergency Planning Unit, said: “This is an opportunity for anyone who lives within the vicinity of PPG to understand more about emergency arrangements for the site.

“We’re also asking representatives from local businesses and other organisations to attend.”

Andrew Coxhead, PPG’s process safety manager, added: “PPG Stowmarket is a safe site and that safety is our top priority.

“Having the joint emergency plans in place ensures that the organisation is better placed to deal with an emergency, to best protect the public and the environment.”

The plan is supported by the emergency services and local authorities.

The meeting will be held at The Cedars Hotel, in Stowmarket from 7.30pm to 9pm.