As work progresses alongside the Esplanade, drilling continues across the site. The main pit to the north abutting the Esplanade is now exposed to view to our site cam.
This looks remarkably like the pit we monitored at La Collette during excavation work at the incinerator. Analysis of the pit water when that was flooded recorded huge amounts of heavy metals.
This pit is supposed to be far less toxic, with low amounts of pollution “if at all” according to our Treasury Minister, Senator Alan Maclean as he mistakenly assured the States on 15th July just before they went on holiday.
Our photos show that there are dense grey areas, denoting Bellozanne ash pockets, also darker bottom ash areas, builders’ waste, including what looks to be roofing material, pipes, wiring ,and a multitude of discoloured lumps of asbestos and other materials which are sorted by hand at La Collette before the fill is recycled.
We have a problem with all of this insofar as before work started TTS’s view concurred with ours, namely all of the fill was likely to be of a contaminated level whereby it couldn’t be separated and it was hopelessly mixed with ash. It would therefore all have to be put into sealed lined pits. But SoJDC’s advisers initially said otherwise and this information was relayed to the States by the Treasury Minister.
After further samples were sent for analysis, SoJDC revised their estimate to 20% contamination, mostly from Bellozanne ash with minor asbestos deposits. But we have reports of asbestos (mainly cement bound the ‘non licenced’ kind) being picked out by hand. The more serious fibrous asbestos is brown and hard to see and we need to be updated so the contractors have kindly invited us on site. We are also meeting TTS on 11th September to see what their strategy now is.
So how does this impact on the development? Financially it could make a huge difference. Already SoJDC have estimated that the extra burial costs will be ‘only £68,000. That figure we feel is very optimistic and does not include handling and sorting.
We understand that the contractors who are doing the work are now on day rates due to the extra work load. If it transpires that less fill can be ‘recycled’ (meaning tipped into the sea, something we have reservations about, then the costs of burial will escalate. So who will pay? TTS (the States) or SoJDC (indirectly the States). Or to put it bluntly, the public, who are already being squeezed.
If the extras went on the SoJDC books, the project could cost much more than predicted- remember they are only part of the way through part of one of six sites. If the underground car park goes ahead then they will be below sea level 11 metres down. It really is that massive a problem.