Olympic Games 2012: Contaminated Land

Olympics written question – answered on 15th July 2008.

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Photo of Dai Davies Dai Davies Independent, Blaenau Gwent

To ask the Minister for the Olympics to which location contaminated soil or other contaminated material found at the Olympic Park site has been transported for disposal; what volumes of material are involved; and what contaminants have been discovered.

Photo of Tessa Jowell Tessa Jowell Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Olympics and Paymaster General)

The ODA had calculated that earthworks totalling 1.6 million tonnes of soil is necessary in preparing the Olympic Park site for construction of work. Of this, around 1 million tonnes will require treatment.

To date, less than 2 per cent. has been transported off-site for landfill disposal at Environment Agency approved sites across the UK. The locations of those sites are:

Kings Cliff, Cambridgeshire (Augean Kings Cliff);

Dudley, West Midlands (Himley Quarry);

Teesside, North Yorkshire (Impetus Waste Management ICI 3);

Barling Magna, Essex (Barling Landfill);

Purton, North Wiltshire (Parkgate Farm Landfill);

Middlesbrough, Cleveland (Augean Middlesbrough).

Also, a small percentage of asbestos-contaminated material has been removed off-site during the demolition phase to approved specialist sites for safe disposal. Those sites are:

Kings Cliff, Cambridgeshire (Augean Kings Cliff);

High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire (Biffa Waste);

Dartford, Kent (Pinden Plant and Processing);

Taunton, Somerset (Viridor Waste Management);

Teesside, North Yorkshire (Impetus Waste Management ICI 3).

Other contaminants discovered on-site include hydrocarbons, industrial chemicals, heavy materials and a very small amount of low level radioactive material. A report on the radium find from the ODA's specialist contractor stated that

"no worker or member of the public has been unnecessarily exposed to ionising radiation" which registered low or very low levels of radioactivity. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was consulted immediately following the find, with the Environment Agency, Newham Environmental Health and the planning authority informed and consulted on safe transit and disposal.

Much of the other contaminants are treated at source and the cleansed material, where appropriate, reused in the landscaping and foundations work of the Olympic Park.

The ODA is currently exceeding its 90 per cent. target of reclaiming material for recycling or reuse from its demolition and remediation works.

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