Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Thor mercury poisoned Margate site worse than expected

Thor mercury worse than expected

I do not think I’ve ever seen anything quite like this.

Thor mercury: poisoning water table, workers, Margate, Africa etc etc. The Enron of toxic waste and several multi-million pound lawsuits. Closed in 1988. Several deaths.

The factory in Margate (next to Hornby and BandQ) has still been storing and producing chemicals until four years ago - with the approval of the Environment Agency. And a full clean-up hasn’t even started.

Today (today!) the EA are talking of starting legal action at the site.

And the former Thor Health and Safety officer is working for the clean-up company who are reporting to the Environment Agency.

After 20 years there is no full detail of the poisons on the site or the fire of 2 years ago nor the extent of the polluted water underground.

It’s the tea and biscuits and manana approach to one of the worst polluting incidents in Britain or Africa.

Coupled with nearby Sericol and 500 tonnes of polluted soil nearby and 3 years of Infratil happily polluting the sea with aviation fuel and the knowledge of KCC and the Environment Agency it just beggars belief.

And the EA seem surprised that there’s scrutiny of this.

When were they aiming for clean-up? Another 20 years?

And the chemicals? Mercury, Benzene and just about every toxin known to mankind.

Clearly the politicians have turned a blind eye to Infratil I hope they've done the same with Thor as otherwise it means the Environment Agency have in effect been doing nothing for 20 years.

Just astonishing.

The key issues seem to be from this:

Why is Thor handling cleanup with occasional EA site visits – presumably no other agencies

Why is the factory listed as closed in 1988: given the various deaths etc

How can the EA allow any manufacture without cleanup first (from 1988-2003) and from 2003-07

What was the 2007 fire

Unrestricted vehicle and foot access sounds very dangerous given Thor’s activity to date and either removing chemicals by traffic or unseen dumping: there is no monitoring of these

How much soil and water, if any, have been removed?

From 1988 to date this seems very low levels of cleanup

Water has migrated from the site and is not mapped?

From this info when is full cleanup forecast and who by?

Who are the EA/Thor/other teams for cleanup?

As discussed earlier all these points seem exactly the concerns of essentially unmonitored and actioned cleanup. I’ve alerted the Police already in case tighter security is required.

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