(Please Share) Tonight’s JEP carries an article encapsulating our recent posts here and their own enquiries from various States Departments. Last Month, on 15th July, Treasury Minister Senator Alan Maclean assured the States that there would be vey little contamination. However…

Erroneous statement by Minister

Maclean said:

Four times more ash contamination than expected on The Esplanade development site in Jersey
Four times more ash contamination than expected on The Esplanade development site in Jersey

“There is a belief – and this has been mentioned before – that there will be some contamination on the site. This has been mentioned previously by SoJDC. It is estimated at most at around about 4 to 5 per cent. …I understand, is what is happening with this particular site where the levels are deemed to be very low indeed, if at all.”

We have, once again, a Treasury Minster making a statement to his colleagues which is incorrect and misleading and, in this case, before the test results were in. He should have surely awaited the test results?

It is no wonder then that States Members often approach us for information in areas which we study: for instance our report last summer on how the sea lettuce problem could be solved has been studiously ignored by the relevant Ministers who could actually make it happen. The reason we think? The ‘NIH’ Jersey syndrome (not invented here – or by their consultants). We will return to this topic soon.

Meeting with Lee Henry

We digress, back to ‘Ground Zero’, where even the displaced rabbits do not want to return and who can blame them? Jacqui and Dave met Lee Henry, the CEO of SoJDC, yesterday afternoon, and had an informative and open chat perched on stools outside the Coco Rico in Broad Street. Over mugs of tea, we listened to Lee who is keen to engage with us, and he deserves credit for this.

Lee has kindly agreed to answer questions that you have asked us on his blog on the JDC website and we thank him for this in advance. We are currently studying the data he has supplied.

The article in the JEP is accurate and gives the broad brush strokes. Lee tells us that the extra costs of burying the hazardous material at La Collette will be about £68,000. We aren’t so sure this takes in hidden costs and so on, but at this stage it’s a matter of ‘wait and see how things develop’. We understand that workers at La Collette are picking asbestos material by hand out of the fill. Sorting the whole site will be very time consuming and labour costs will mount up.

We also worry that the dust monitors and asbestos particle monitors that were ordered for the public area Castle Street / Esplanade are still on order- they are the only protection the public have and we feel should have been installed before work started, and baseline levels ascertained. (There have been two instances of high readings on the installed on-site dust monitors recently).

We also think that the pavement immediately adjacent to the site should be closed to pedestrians- having photographed people including nursery groups just yards from the excavation is worrying but the authorities say this is OK. How? We think that using the ‘precautionary principle’ would be wise? After all, the Treasury Minister’s assurances were wrong and that was only a month ago.

We will keep you up to speed and advise that if possible to say away from the area, especially if it’s windy.

Click here for the full JEP article.

Esplanade ash contamination 4x higher than Minister claimed
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