PLANS for a major chemical emergency at the Ineos Mexichem site in Runcorn have been put to the test.

An exercise to see how all the various agencies and emergency services would respond has been hailed a success.

Halton Council has a statutory duty under the Control of Major Accident Hazard (COMAH) regulations to produce an off-site multi agency emergency response plan for this hazardous site.

These regulations govern chemical sites that make, store or handle hazardous substances and are designed to ensure that effective measures are in place to protect people and the environment in the event of a major chemical emergency.

As part of the routine testing schedule, a table-top exercise was held to test the Ineos ChlorVinyls, Ineos Enterprises and Mexichem Fluor off-site multi-agency emergency response plan.

The exercise also involved representatives from the emergency services who would manage the response to a major emergency, along with health agencies, the Environment Agency, the Health and Safety Executive, Cheshire West and Chester Council.

A Halton Council spokesman said: “The testing of the off site plan is invaluable to all agencies involved, so in the unlikely event of an incident occurring on site, a quick and efficient response would take place, to mitigate the offsite affects for the community of Halton.”

If you have any enquiries about the exercise or would like more information, contact Michelle Cotgreave, Risk & Emergency Planning Division, Halton Council on 0151 511 7918 or e-mail