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ASBESTOS – HOW MUCH & WHAT PROTECTION? …And what is Environmental Health doing?

SOS Jersey are strongly concerned with the asbestos situation regarding the SoJDC excavations for the International Finance Centre.

Contaminated soil pile - uncovered - on SoJDC site - March 2017 - SOS Jersey
Contaminated, uncovered, soil pile on SoJDC site, March 2017. Pic by St Helier Waterfront Action Group

We have always raised a flag in this area and, while our data regarding the level of contamination of the site was initially dismissed as inaccurate by Lee Henry, our claims have since been validated.

We have recently heard that:

  • All trucks are having to be de-contaminated when they leave site
  • Someone from the UK was over to supervise it
  • Last Friday the SoJDC had a panic on to get as much off site as they could as the chap was going back to the UK and trucks all had to be cleaned inside and outside before been allowed to do any other work
  • There is a poster inside one of the buildings which says, with reference to asbestos, not to enter B5 compound without authorisation

We know that:

  • Abestos warning notice in SoJDCs IFC site
    Abestos warning notice in SoJDC’s IFC site

    There is a very large pile of ‘soil’ which is being sorted for treatment that is not being covered, only damped down

  • The soil pile is HIGHER than the hoarding, which itself is about 8′ high
  • We have had some very strong winds
  • Hazmat suits are worn where necessary within the compound
  • Nearby pedestrians are offered no protection

We are not sure whether wheel washing is done in pits (with the water being saved and then decontaminated), or whether there is runoff. However, we do know runoff caused by rain causes some of the contaminated dirt to leak out under the hoardings; when this water evaporates, if there are any asbestos fibres, they can be dispersed into the atmosphere.

We are of course pleased that some safeguarding measures are being taken for workers, but are not in any way assured the public is receiving the same level of consideration. We were assured verbally that contaminated piles of soil would be tented off; this has not happened.

Why are the JDC allowed to get away with this? You wouldn’t, and rightly so.

If you have concerns, here is who to contact:

Department of the Environment:

  • Howard Davis Farm, La Route de la Trinité, Trinity, Jersey, JE3 5JP
  • E: environmentenquiries@gov.je
  • T: 01534 441600 (+44 (0)1534 441600)
  • If you have any reports/concerns, the hotline number to call is 01534 445808 – click to call; this is for Environmental Health which deals with complaints and concerns about air quality (dust) and noise. Their email is eh@health.gov.je
  • For complaints and concerns about water run-off and pollution issues, you can call the Environmental Protection hotline on 01534 709535 – click to call.
Safety – what safety? [JDC & ASBESTOS]
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