Friday, 20 February 2009

Policy #4: Pollution - grave concerns

Policy #4: Pollution

As MP I will end the rampant pollution in Toxic Thanet.

Only now are TDC and KCC creating a detailed contaminated land schedule but still no clean-up schedule.

Councillors and MP’s and Civil servants simply have no idea of the scale of the task or the deadly consequences. For years.

A. Mercury poisoning

Thor mercury is a notorious company responsible not only for poisoning its own workers and the water table in Margate before its closure in 1988. But then took the same factory equipment and systems to South Africa and Cato Ridge and poisoned them!

One of Nelson Mandela’s first tasks on release from jail was to close Thor.

A multi-million pound compensation scheme is available for workers killed or maimed by mercury exposure.

Mercury like aviation fuel: kerosene, benzene etc is one of the most dangerous chemicals known to mankind.

A fire at the Margate plant in 2007 suggests the clean-up is not complete (after 20 years) and MP or Police statements to simply "close your windows" in the event of a fire is hardly reassuring.

As MP I will ensure Harvey Bradshaw and Andrew Ogden at the Environment Agency and KCC and TDC publish full reports on Thor and other sites clean-up. And actually do it. Quickly.

I will ensure Margate’s workers past and present access the compensation scheme and I will invite the poisoned African workers to Kent to see the origins of their problems.

Time to end mercury poisoning.

B. Asbestos

The scandal of 100 deaths from asbestos in East Kent must end. As MP I will ensure all asbestos sites and buildings are detailed and properly cleaned-up. Quickly.

A personal anecdote from my time in jail fighting my trademark case was that several buildings were riddled with asbestos but “elf n safety” meant it was fine - with just a sign on the door.

Tickboxes don’t save lives. Prompt action from the tickboxes does.

Time to clean up asbestos.

C. Infratil

When the airport is closed I will ensure Infratil pay the full cost of the pollution impacts from repeated breaches of the 106 operating guidelines – as TDC and KCC must know.

A set of village hall chairs or a DVD player from a $1Bn aviation company is not the full price for the range of cancers and genetic and breathing disorders found around airports.

The NHS must also provide - as in Europe and USA - public reports on these pollution impacts.

Airports are hardly producing marshmallows.

They are one of the most toxic industries in the world.

Time for Infratil to pay for poisoning their public.

D. Sericol

I respect Sericol for doing the right thing and alerting the Police to the problems of solvents at their old site. Accidents do happen. Open and fast action can save lives.

Now with 30 years of pollution and 15 years of clean up I will insist as MP all records are public and details of the 500 tonnes of polluted soil and effluent are recorded.

With the pumps at the boreholes switched off since May 2008 I will insist the Environment Agency reveals the full extent of the pollution and clean-up schedule.

Where is the TDC and councillor monitoring? There is none.

Time to clean up the Sericol site.

E. Pegwell Bay

Infratil and TDC and KCC and the Environment Agency are privately allowing the repeated spillage of aviation fuel over the water table and into Pegwell Bay a UNESCO wetland.

As MP when the airport is closed I will ensure the full clean up costs are recharged to Infratil.

Also the bizarre planning permission of the petrol station and its fuel tanks are sited right on the flood plain. This will be revoked and resited.

I will ensure Kent Police request the extradition of Steve Fitzgerald the former CEO from Australia for questions on their pollution performance.

Time to stop polluting Pegwell bay.

F. The Taste Test

As MP I will ensure all water quality records for drinking water, sea water and improved Blue Flag status are publicly displayed and monitored at all times.

And I will call on the CEO of the Environment Agency and TDC for the Taste Test: the annual taking of the waters to ensure quality.

I wouldn’t recommend it right now.

Time for better water by the coast.

These issues are serious. And being treated as mere political footballs and incompetence.

Monday: Policy #5: Development


rockyraccoon said...

The water abstraction near Sericol was switched off at the time of the leakage discovery in the 1990s.

The leakage of cyclohexanone seems to have been for thirty years from the sub-standard installation of underground pipework when Sericol located at the Poorhole Lane site.

This adds emphasis to requiring a report from Environment Agency who are supposed to be investigating to establish the facts about allegedly sub-standard pipe and vessel welds at the Pfizer site.

I think it was a company called Eagle (not sure) who suffered a fire about ten years ago near Pfizer. Did Pfizer have people out recording the smoke dispersal patterns ?

rockyraccoon said...

I should add that, from comments sent to another blog, the Sericol workforce were aware of the problem in the 1990s but obeyed company instructions to keep schtum.

That is your electorate Tim.

rockyraccoon said...

"Grave concerns" should appropriately extend to the matter of anthrax burials at the former Haine Isolation Hospital ?

I think, in other areas, such burial sites have been planning consented for car parks over them but not for foundations for buildings.

Plague pits (Poorhole Lane) do not seem to be too much of a problem because time apparently deals with the threat. However, having a decades long remediation project drawing back ground water from the catchment (Sericol remediation) does seem to wang of Thanet folly.

I think TDC researched the wrong Lifeboat records re the early 20th century mariners brought ashore and transported to what was then Haine Isolation hospital.

Circa 1908 There may have been a local political decision of the time to protect holiday trade. Hence the bodies being buried within the grounds of the hospital.

Berkshire has a news report today re diesel contamination of River Loddon.

Tim Garbutt said...

Thanks Rocky: very useful info and agree with all your points - do you know:

* I'm told this week from Environemnt Agency the pumps were switched off May 08
* any info on Eagle fire/products?
* why smoke dispersal?
* any dates/info on anthrax burials?
* plague pit info would be interesting
* I'm interested in Lifeboat details and also the Spanish Armada at Margate

I don't think anthrax/plague would be an issue now but is interesting local history and with the Armada might have a tourism approach.

Many thanks.