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Keywords :- What eventual remediation strategy was used for the Ergethan case-study

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From : Stephen Fellows
Date: 27th May 1998
Subject: The Remediation strategy eventually used at Ergethan

 

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I found the section on Ergethan most interesting. The text mentions that at the time of writing, no final choice had been made as to the most appropriate remediation strategy to be used.

If possible, could you inform me what this outcome eventually was?

Any information that you might have or contacts will be greatly appreciated.

Thanking you in advance

Peter

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The case study on Ergethan deals with a WWII Mustard Gas factory site in the former GDR (East Germany), which was contaminated with a cocktail which included Arsenic, Trichloroethane and Phenol.

Dr Claus Schumacher (one of the Authors) tells me that the short-term solution that was implemented involves using a technology that costs around £3 per running metre. The area has simply been fenced off until some money materialises to clean-up the site !

I think this is very sensible and just highlights how short-sighted the villagers of East Gomeldon in Wiltshire, England, are in wanting the Government to pay now for the clean-up of the after-effects of two World Wars worth of Mustard gas and phosgene pollution in their fields.

They would be far better off to try and persuade the Military to continue using their fields for artillery practice. Afterall even though Dounreay, up in the wilds of North Scotland, has now officially closed they will be employing people there for many years to come thanks to a paltry little well contaminated with some harmless low-level radioactivity !

The East Gomeldons should seriously consider the short-term gain of a clean-up now ( £1 million) versus a far more expensive one in a few years time. If US Superfund experience is anything to go by (where the lawyers do the cleaning-up) they could stand to rake in a small fortune. Although this does assume that they have not passed on from Arsenic and Phenol poisoning.

The Town of Ergethan in the former East Germany (the site of a Mustard gas factory) has adopted this approach, and rather than incur a short-term clean-up cost of between £15 - 25 million, has gone for the jackpot by simply fencing the area off, at a cost of around £ 3 per metre !

If as it its claimed, Colemans actually made their money from the mustard that people left behind (on their plates) why should the inhabitants of East Golmeldon deprive themselves of a similar opportunity ?

Regards

Hugo Hackenbush


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