This site in Clevedon was used as a satellite waste dump by Albright and Wilson’s Portishead factory. The background history of this buried lanscaped site used as playing fields was discussed at a meeting of Clevedon Town Council on 7/1/09 . Read this here- 07_01_09_Council
The purpose of this matter concerned a controversial proposal to potentially build a hospital on top of this white phosphorus contaminated site. The background to this story can be read HERE.
We wondered given the nature of the site and its contents what reports had been undertaken concerning the toxic waste dumped there by Albright and Wilson, and also what form of remediation if any had been undertaken there.
WHAT DID WE ASK AND WHAT DID THEY KNOW?
“Could I request the report carried out by Bostock Hill and Rigby in 1987 which I believe the council holds concerning the former phosphorus waste disposal site at Strode Road in Clevedon owned by the former Albright and Wilson and now Rhodia from the waste
disposal pits used from the old Portishead factory site.
Can I also request the subsequent risk assessment study carried out by Bristol Scientific Services (BSS) concerning the same site.”
The council provided a number of broken down PDF files concerning the two reports.
The Bostock, Hill and Rigby report to Woodspring District Council, the forerunner to Clevedon Town Council can be read as follows by clicking on the relevant link. NB this report was supplied in 4 PDF file parts which are not in page order.
The council also supplied the report carried out by Bristol Scientific Services (BSS). N.B This was supplied in 4 pdf files, which are unfortunately upside down and also not in order!
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
We have looked at the Clevedon Strode Road site reports supplied as in this request elsewhere. Summarily they note the widespread contamination of white phosphorus across this buried site which does not appear to have subsided over time. There are questions concerning the adequacy of monitoring at this site, particularly for phosphine gas and the presumption that because it is buried and as long as no one disturbs “what lies beneath” it is fine to leave it this way to the future to deal with. This is a depressingly familiar theme amongst historic landfill sites, whereby the local authority/Environment Agency and site owner/former owner conspire to not spend money resolving the issue but simply throwing more dirt on top of the problem to hope it goes away.