By Dan Santy 05/04 Updated: 13/04 07:53
CEMEX has revealed it has paid for cars affected by a cement dust leak over Long Lawford to be cleaned.
The Lawford Road cement giant has confirmed it received 19 complaints from people in the village after the dust shower left material stuck hard to their cars.
Meanwhile, watchdog the Environment Agency has announced it is investigating the matter and has to decide whether to take enforcement action against Cemex.
Last week the Observer revealed how people in Long Lawford had woken on Monday March 26 to find a fine grey substance had covered their cars and would not budge.
The cause of the leak was found to be the installation of new equipment at the top of the plant's large, dome-shaped storage building.
A fault in the equipment led to the release and has now been fixed, according to Cemex community affairs manager Ian Southcott.
"Dust release incidents happen only rarely these days and, as in this case, only affect a relatively small number of neighbours," he said.
"Naturally, we are very sorry for any inconvenience caused but such events are now very rare."
But he added the firm was still investigating complaints made from people living further away to determine whether the plant was at fault for these too.
David Hudson from the Environment Agency said: "It is hard to make an assessment of the health impact of the dust, which is quite coarse and unlikely to be inhaled. Our own interim assessment is the risk will be low.
"There is no doubt that this dust is a nuisance and will be difficult to remove."
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