Road cordons were in place around the incident
14 November 2011 Last updated at 19:54
Emergency services have been tackling a leak from a pipe at an oil handling facility on the Firth of Forth.
The pipe carries waste water between BP’s Hound Point Terminal and Dalmeny oil storage tank facility near South Queensferry where it is treated.
A BP spokesman said the discharge was water from an effluent pipeline and not an oil or chemical spill.
He said the source of the leak had been identified and every effort was being made to contain and stop it.
Lothian and Borders Police, which was alerted at 13:30, are treating it as a major incident and have set up a 100-metre exclusion zone around the scene.
There is not thought to be any risk to public health though the smell has been compared to a “stink bomb”.
The alarm was raised by a member of the public who noticed discoloured water running into the Forth.
BP said that the pipe now carried waste water such as that used for cleaning purposes at the terminal and comprised rainwater, seawater and some impurities.
In the past it carried ballast water used to keep tankers afloat as they were being loaded with oil in the Firth of Forth.
The BP spokesman added: “Purely as a precautionary measure a 100m exclusion zone has been put in place due to the presence of a sulphurous smell adjacent to the leak.”
The company apologised to the public for any inconvenience.
Inspector Dougie Stephens of Lothian and Borders Police said: “The leak has been confined to a field but it has entered a burn which has discoloured the water. Liquid is still exiting the pipeline.
“We are taking a multi-agency approach which is being co-ordinated by the police. We have quite a big police presence here and we have cordoned off the area.
“No-one has been evacuated.”
Sepa said it was monitoring the situation and had officers on the site.
A Sepa statement said: “At this time we do not know what, if any, environmental impact there may be, but we are working as part of a multi-agency group to investigate the incident.”
NHS Lothian said the gas associated with the effluent did not present any risk to the public.
A spokesman for NHS Lothian said: “Although this gas has a strong smell, it will have no impact on the health of local residents due to the low levels released.
“However if anyone has a health concern they should contact their GP.”
The Hound Point terminal, which is owned and operated by BP, is the largest North Sea oil exporting facility in Scotland.
The terminal consists of two jetties at which vessels up to 350,000 tonnes deadweight can be loaded with oil from the Forties pipeline system.