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A year ago SOSJ started the process of ‘stocktaking’ hazardous substances that were being stockpiled at La Collette. These included the APCr toxic incinerator ash and the growing number of rotting shipping containers filled with asbestos and asbestos contaminated materials.

Unacceptable!
‘The asbestos stockpile is Jersey’s Number One Health Risk”
John Rogers, Chief Officer, Transport and Technical Services, July 2012

‘It is totally unacceptable that the situation has not progressed since July’
Deputy John Young, Chairman of The Environment Scrutiny Panel, February 2013

(The Jersey Evening Post, 19 February 2013)

By August 2012 we had come up with a practical solution to the toxic ash problem and had a constructive meeting with Transport and Technical Services C.E.O., John Rogers and his Officers, and an informal meeting with the TTS Minister, Kevin Lewis. It was at that time, looking hopeful. In September we produced a report on ‘Jersey’s Toxic Waste Mountain’ and a web page which can be seen here:

Approximately 217 rusting second hand shipping containers filled with asbestos waste stand out to sea on exposed reclaimed land at La Collette.
Approximately 217 rusting second hand shipping containers filled with asbestos waste stand out to sea on exposed reclaimed land at La Collette.

At the time, the TTS Minister thought that there were 40 containers (as reported in the JEP). We counted nearly 200 in the compound and it transpired that there were at least 217. But there are no accurate manifests kept as some containers have been there for 18 years when they were bought second hand by the then CEO of TTS, John Richardson, now Jersey’s Chief Executive.

SOSJ asked the Environmental Scrutiny Panel to add the asbestos situation onto their agenda last year which they agreed to do. All sides agreed that the containers present ‘Jersey’s Number One Health Hazard’ (a phrase used by the CEO of TTS). A ‘six month window of opportunity’ on both the ash and the containers was deemed to be a realistic time frame in which to deal with both problems, and this time frame was agreed in Scrutiny hearings last year at quarterly meetings with Ministers and Officers from both TTS and Planning & Environment Departments.
So on both the ash and the asbestos issues, a year has gone by and no progress seems to have been made despite assurances that urgency was paramount. The reasons would seem to be as follows:

Regarding the asbestos containers: the Planning and Environment Minister will not give permission for the asbestos be buried in an engineered pit at La Collette as TTS wish to do. The Minister first wishes to explore the French option, but has not acted. He is apparently at odds with his Officers on this.

Regarding the the APCr ash disposal issue: TTS can export it to the UK for disposal under a DRR (Due Reasonable Request) licence which has been approved by DEFRA. TTS can do this without requesting permission from the P & E Minister, but for whatever reason, they have not yet sought the necessary permit from the Waste Regulator.

SOSJ suggest that it is now time for the Chief Minister to make an urgent ruling on this. Both the ash and the asbestos MUST be exported for safe disposal. La Collette is not designated as a hazardous landfill site, being totally unsuitable in location and geology. DEFRA apparently wish us to bury the asbestos here but will allow us to export the ash. We would like to see the asbestos added to the DRR and an export permit sought for both. La Collette should not become a toxic landfill site for future generations to deal with.

In addition to the absestos containers, The Air Pollution Control Residues (APCr) remain stockpiled at La Collette. The 'Duly Reasoned Request' (DRR) for export of this hazardous waste has recently been approved by the UK authorities, allowing the waste to be exported for the next 3 years.
In addition to the absestos containers, The Air Pollution Control Residues (APCr) remain stockpiled at La Collette. The ‘Duly Reasoned Request’ (DRR) for export of this hazardous waste has recently been approved by the UK authorities, allowing the waste to be exported for the next 3 years.

Why? We have at time of writing had no responses from several emails to TTS on this subject. Scrutiny had an assurance at the last quarterly meeting with TTS in February that the long awaited trip to Bordeaux which was insisted on by the Planning and Environment Minister Rob Duhamel to assess the feasibility of disposal by plasmafication had not yet happened. Mr Rogers agreed that the trip would happen within a month (that date has now passed) and that he would know immediately following the visit whether that process would work or not.

So on both the ash and the asbestos issues, a year has gone by and no progress seems to have been made despite assurances that urgency was paramount. The reasons would seem to be as follows:

Regarding the asbestos containers: the Planning and Environment Minister will not give permission for the asbestos be buried in an engineered pit at La Collette as TTS wish to do. The Minister first wishes to explore the French option, but has not acted. He is apparently at odds with his Officers on this.

Regarding the the APCr ash disposal issue: TTS can export it to the UK for disposal under a DRR (Due Reasonable Request) licence which has been approved by DEFRA. TTS can do this without requesting permission from the P & E Minister, but for whatever reason, they have not yet sought the necessary permit from the Waste Regulator.

SOSJ suggest that it is now time for the Chief Minister to make an urgent ruling on this. Both the ash and the asbestos MUST be exported for safe disposal. La Collette is not designated as a hazardous landfill site, being totally unsuitable in location and geology. DEFRA apparently wish us to bury the asbestos here but will allow us to export the ash. We would like to see the asbestos added to the DRR and an export permit sought for both. La Collette should not become a toxic landfill site for future generations to deal with.

The asbestos stockpile ‘Jersey’s Number One Health Risk’ – April 2013
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