The Environment Agency could pursue enforcement action after identifying the source of an oil spill that occurred in the River Anton in Andover in January 2023.

As previously reported, the mystery substance, believed to be fuel, was running consistently along the River Anton for several days.

The spillage, which was reported by local residents, caused concern for wildlife and the environment.

The Andover MP, Kit Malthouse, raised the issue in the House of Commons on March 27, calling for reassurances that "those responsible are held to account".

READ MORE: Environment Agency begins work into River Anton spillage

According to the agency's technical team, the pollution was entering the River Anton from a surface water drainage system owned by Southern Water, from an unknown source.

Upon receiving the reports, environment officers were deployed to the site, and the agency immediately deployed oil-absorbent booms to contain the spill.

Emergency clean-up contractors were brought in to carry out remediation works to the environment due to the scale of the incident.

The agency's investigation has identified the polluter of this incident, and the officers are gathering evidence to ensure a thorough clean-up is undertaken.

However, while the company name is believed to be known locally, the agency is withholding further information about the source as it believes the disclosure would have an adverse effect on the course of justice and the agency's ability to conduct a criminal investigation.

In response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request made by the Advertiser, the agency confirmed that their investigations are ongoing.

SEE ALSO: River Anton Andover: MP Kit Malthouse meets Lord Benyon

It said: “We can confirm our investigation has identified the polluter of this incident. Our investigations are ongoing and we do not wish to jeopardise any future enforcement action that may be taken in due course by providing any further information.

“Environment officers have been gathering evidence and are ensuring that a thorough clean-up is undertaken. We will continue to be involved until the risk of further pollution to both the watercourse and groundwater is addressed to our satisfaction.”

The assurance comes just two days after a mystery substance that looked like fuel was spotted flowing through the River Anton on Monday, April 24. 

The Advertiser will continue to monitor the situation and report on any developments in this story.