Campaigning for clean air in and around Hauxton
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PACKED MEETING SAYS ‘NO’ TO POLLUTION
Hauxton Church was filled to capacity with anxious residents wanting to learn about the pollution from the former Bayer site.
Expert speakers explained the problems of cleaning the complex cocktail of dangerous chemicals on the site. One said that no technique would ever clean it properly.
Individuals described the unpleasant symptoms they continue to experience since the remediation began.
There was a unanimous vote by the 140 people in the room calling for the present remediation to be stopped, the pollution covered and a proper independent assessment of techniques and of the current and future health impacts carried out.
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HauxAir campaign group has been formed by local residents and workers to stop the spread of chemicals in the air coming from the remediation process at the old Bayer CropScience factory site.
Harrow Estates plc now have conditional planning permission to build 380 houses. Vertase FLI has been contracted to remediate the site.
Pesticides and herbicides have been produced there since the 1940s. This has resulted in serious contamination of soil and groundwater in an area close to housing, a major trunk road, the river and fields of food production.
This site was designated by South Cambridgeshire District Council as contaminated land under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 on 3rd June 2003 and therefore, there is a requirement to clean up the site in accordance with the provisions of the Environmental Protection Act
In the COSHH assessment appended to the planning application, many of the chemicals are described as “Can cause cancer” or “Toxic by inhalation.”
The clean up process itself is causing problems for the local residents in 10 or so villages – Hauxton, Harston, Haslingfield, Gt.Shelford, Lt Shelford, Stapleford, Grantchester, Barton, Trumpington, Barrington.
Not only is there the nuisance of almost unbearable noxious smells and dust, but there does seem to be an increase in the number of people with symptoms such as breathing difficulties, sore eyes and throats, burning lips and numb tongues particularly when the wind blows their way.
The remediation process involves excavating the heavily contaminated soils and transporting them across the site for bioremediation. Treatment of the soil is largely in the open air, where the bacteria, fungi and warmth are expected to do their work. Turning the soil releases volatile fumes and contaminated dusts into the air. This work is due to continue until September 2011.
However, we understand that remediation simply may not be possible. We quote p13 Section 6:1 of Vertase’s own Remediation Strategy published with the planning application that states:
“….it is likely that many of these targets are beyond the capability of treatment technologies”
HauxAir is calling for
For Medical Help
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