Sunday, 13 September 2009

Thor and Infratil: Sunday Times today and a world away

A double page spread on pages 24 and 25 various pollution incidents in China which seem all too familiar at Infratil and Thor:

“authorities closed a chemical plant in central China after two locals died of cadmium poisoning. Chinese newspapers exposed a long-running scandal of political collusion that allowed the plant to flout environmental standards”.

How many died at Thor before it was closed-but-not-closed in Margate in 1988? Two? More? A dozen or so in Cato Ridge when it was closed there in 1994.

“Mass protests broke out over “cancer villages” near polluted waterways in Eastern China. A series of campaigns began to win compensation for villagers who became ill living next to filthy canals and rivers full of factory discharge and effluent.”

Infratil missing noise and air monitors removed by Infratil and TDC from a school and tower block. No mention of it in council meetings. A strange unity of silence from councillors. Richard Samuel the Head of TDC and Chair of KIACC repeatedly promised monitor readings and mobile monitors for each meeting.

“35 small children tested for lead poisoning…a yellow brochure handed out by the local government six years ago described the factory as a “garden-like factory”.

Infratil’s masterplan with dumped jets as environmentally sound roosts for bats anyone? Thor mercury chemical fire in 2007 even though it supposedly closed in 1988?

“local officials had done a deal with the smelter company because they were desperate to meet economic targets.”

Dumped jumbo jets by Infratil anyone? Vague sewerage proposals from ChinaGate anyone? Infratil discharging fuel and chemicals over the water supply and into the sea.

Steve Ladyman and Roger Gale each variously described the airport as well-run and no hazards form there or Thor.

Thanet’s water is the most polluted in the South East according to the Environment Agency although they refuse to confirm toxin reports of clean-up – and the Thor site is being cleaned by Thor.

Looks to me like our councillors, civil servants and MP’s decided to skimp on the safety requirements and keep it to themselves despite repeated warnings.

851 Chinese children from 7 villages had excessive amounts of lead in their blood.

Thanet has the highest early death rate in Kent: similar to Iraq or other Third World countries: a full 11 years earlier death than anywhere else in Kent.

Shouldn’t the Gang of Four explain what has been done at Infratil and Thor?

Only if you want to.

They're your lungs and kidneys after all.

1 comment:

Charlie said...

Until the next local elections, perhaps you could encourage interested parties to write to their local MPs, asking them to write the Secretary of State to improve the Government's River Basin Plans.

Go to to find out how you can help improve the local water environment