TOXIC tar pool in Rhos will cost tens of millions of pounds to clean up, according to an expert consultant.
Llwyneinion acid tar lagoon is the subject of a meeting today where the Environment Agency will present a report to Wrexham Council's Environmental Scrutiny Committee suggesting a number of options to clean it up.
But Leon Stanger of John Beech Consultants, who carried out tests on the lagoon, has warned that any attempt to clean up the pit should be extremely cautious.
'We are one of a number of companies who looked at Llwyneinion to see if we could clean it up,' he said.
'It is one of the worst sites of pollution in Britain because it is so vast. The acid goes into mineshafts below the lagoon bed.
'In the summer when the water layer evaporates exposing the acid tar, the toxic fumes given off knock out birds as they fly overhead and they fall into the pit.
'Once stuck in the thicker-than-water substance they are trapped and burned by the acid and, unable to free themselves, they die.
'The substances in it alone are quite simple to deal with but not on the scale they are found there.'
The meeting at which the Environment Agency report will be presented starts at 2.30pm today (Thursday) at the Stiwt in Rhos.
It is expected residents living around the edge of the lagoon will also attend the meeting.
Wrexham Council asked the Environment Agency for a report and recommendations about what can real-istically bedone to clean it up. Residents are concerned it could catch light placing their homes at risk.
Llwyneinion has caught fire once before, burning for 18 hours in 1980 until firefighters from Wrexham and Cheshire finally put it out.
The agency has compiled all its research from the last 25 years to present the council with realistic options to clean up the site.
The pool contains 100,000 tonnes of chemicals and acid tar dumped between 1960 and 1975 from companies across North Wales, Cheshire and Merseyside.
It also contains other waste including hundreds of metal container drums, some filled with sodium and sulphuric acid.
'A lot of companies have tried to get involved with Llwyneinion,' said Mr Stanger.
'Years ago there was talk of pumping the lagoon into tankers and shipping it to France but now there are regulations.
'It will cost tens of millions of pounds to clean up and you cannot throw plant machinery at it.
'The biggest problem is there is not enough room on-site to treat it. One theory was to cap it but the unstable nature of the tar meant that was not feasible.
'What people need to realise is that this will be expensive, take a very long time and be very awkward. Wrexham council has inherited a real mess.'