Senior members of TTS will meet SoJDC tomorrow (Fri 24 July) to discuss the protocol of the forthcoming excavation into the contaminated Esplanade car park.

Whilst the project is politically sensitive and the COM are desperate to drive ahead seemingly at all costs, our hope is that the project will be handled in an environmentally safe manner. 

Lorry decontamination station on the Esplanade, Jersey
Lorry decontamination station on the Esplanade, Jersey

Up until recently TTS have stated  in meetings with SOSJ that the whole site must be treated as contaminated.  Now they say that this area may be the lesser contaminated part of the whole site; this is because the area to be used for Building 4 (the first to be built) will be on the north eastern part of the site, which was filled last and with different methods.

A lorry decontamination rig is now in place and the dig is about to begin. Senior members of TTS will tomorrow meet SoJDC to discuss the protocol of the forthcoming excavation into what is acknowledged as a contaminated area.

However, that is hopeful thinking right now: they don’t know. We trust that the core samples sent off to the UK for independent testing and analysis will tell us more; the data are due tomorrow (Fri 24 July) according to a statement made by the Managing Director Lee Henry last week to the JEP.

What TTS agree with us about, however, is that there needs to be an ‘independent’ specialist on the ground to:

  • Oversee the excavated fill
  • Determine where it will go

The options are:

  • If some fill is non-contaminated it will be taken away and used as landfill
  • If partly contaminated it will be put into sealed pits
  • If non-contaminated but with ‘recyclables’ in it will go to the APCr ash pit for treatment and recovery

As for our concerns about asbestos particles in dust blowing off the site, this matter has not been accepted or addressed.

The photo above, taken on 21 July (2015) with the ‘SOS site cam’, shows the situation – a decontamination rig for lorry wheel washing is being erected a few yards away from parked cars. Hopefully it will be covered in soon, but the site is still open to often strong winds.

NOTE: Keeping the ground damp as the contractors have been instructed is well nigh impossible as you can see by the photo.

It is a dust bowl and the dust will not be contained by the low fence, though we have been assured that is the case by Lee Henry when he commented on our photos of babies in pushchairs passing by.

If the ground is dampened down the whole time,  water can spread under the hoadings and on washed down vehicles. As the water evaporates, asbestos particles are left which can be even further spread and inhaled.

We still maintain that the ‘precautionary principle’ is best and should be applied. 

This situation, we have been told by an asbesto removal specialist, would not be tolerated by environmental health in the UK – the site would be tented in by plastic sheeting, for example.

…so why  is it OK here in Jersey to just have some hoardings in an area that often catches the wind and is in a heavily populated area? 

We wrote to the Minister of Health a fortnight ago about the public health situation but he has not yet answered  or acknowledged our concerns.

We will report when we know what has been arranged and what the core sample testing says.

Esplande car park work ~ update ~ day 17

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