Goings on at the Gower

A few weeks ago I noticed some disturbances at Rhodia/Solvay’s still controlled Gower Tip. Though my canalside view was limited, it was clear that behind the trees there had been some excavations taking place within the site, and clearly this had exposed some of the previously tipped waste there.

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What was this I thought, this site was officially a closed site, and the licence issued in 1978 had been surrendered according to Sandwell council and the Environment agency. It was obvious that something was afoot, and then I saw a couple of site occupants dressed in the colours of Solvay’s environmental consultants at Rattlechain, ERM.

 

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Monitoring at the Gower?

So it was time to hit the streets and have a look around the rest of the visible parts of the site. From George Wood Avenue¬†it was clear that new site boreholes were being installed- but why after all this time- a bit bloody late given that new houses are currently being built at “The Forge” right next to the site!

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A cleared pathway

Around the dug parts of the site, a white ugly mixture was visible from beneath the soil. So what exactly was exposed here, and what justification allowed this- given that this site is supposed to offer no threat?

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Another exposed bottle

The fenceline at the tip can be seen in context with the area of houses yet to be built. It seems to me reading between the lines that some of the content on this website may have resulted in some rather uncomfortable questions being asked by the developers and those living around the area. Perhaps this map had something to do with it, given the questions around the historic boundary of where tipping took place? No doubt we will get yet another whitewash report about human health, but the proof will be not in the soil tests or monitoring but in 25 years time when people start asking questions as to whether health concerns they have, are anything to do with that old piece of fenced off land that no-one knows much about, and cannot find out much about from Environment agency records, or those held by Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council.

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New occupants will be able to look down on the historic waste dump at the bottom of their gardens. Just look out for the fairies with the multiple limbs and two heads

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