Officials Fight to Remediate Contamination Underneath Main Olympic Site

A heavily contaminated site formerly used for chemical storage in East London provides an expensive lesson in urban brownfield remediation for government officials preparing the city for the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games.

As construction continues on the London Olympic Stadium, the centerpiece of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, so do a variety of innovative efforts to clean up extensive pollution underneath the stadium stemming from a significant amount of toxic industrial solvents in the groundwater and bedrock below. According to officials from the Environment Agency, the chemicals are believed to have been leached from a storage facility that formerly occupied the site. The facility, which was owned by Banner Chemicals Group, has now been bulldozed to make way for the stadium but the pollution below is so severe that the remediation process will continue long after the Games are over.

" 'We thought that this would be a dirty site but it turned out to be much worse than we expected, grossly contaminated,' said Stuart Hayes, a hydrogeologist at the Environment Agency who is overseeing the clean-up operation. So far, only the topsoil has been cleaned. The next and much more difficult stage is to clean up the deeper pollution, said Hayes."

Full Story: Toxic waste clean-up on Olympic site cost taxpayers £12.7m

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