Environmental Remediation Complete At Site Of Red Sludge Disaster In Hungary

  • 1 Feb 2012 8:00 AM
Environmental Remediation Complete At Site Of Red Sludge Disaster In Hungary
"All pollutant material that was leaked into the environment as a result of the red sludge disaster is now safely in its designated deposit sites – announced Csaba Szabó. Speaking in Devecser, the Ministerial Commissioner of the Ministry of Rural Development also stated that contractors have completed the environmental remediation of the areas flooded by the red sludge.

At the end of last year, Mecsekérc Plc. announced that the environmental remediation in the Ajka area had been completed, the delivery-acceptance of the restituted areas is now underway in the presence of the contractors and the designated technical supervisor, OVIBER Limited.

This process may take some weeks; the remediation of agricultural areas is currently under inspection – stressed the Commissioner. Csaba Szabó added: Within the next few weeks the Torna stream and its watercourses, the river Marcal, and subsequently the flood plains of the various watercourses will be delivered. The total cost of the environmental remediation was 16 billion HUF.

Following the disaster, pollutant red sludge had to be removed from a total of almost 300 hectares of agricultural land, with remediation required on 800 hectares.

850 thousand cubic metres of contaminated material containing the pollutant sludge – comprising a 20cm thick layer on the topsoil in some areas – was collected using heavy machinery, and transported back to storage facilities at the Ajka aluminium plant – said the Commissioner, summarising the process.

Csaba Szabó also mentioned that several different techniques were required to remove the contamination, depending on the areas in question: foliage was removed using different methods on meadows and arable land. In areas with little contamination, deep ploughing was employed and the soil was restored with the help of soil-improving agents and bacterial fertilizer.

A total of 80 kilometres of rivers and waterways required dredging, and the beds of the Torna stream, and of the main and side beds and banks of the river Marcal were successfully cleansed of waste – announced the Commissioner. Csaba Szabó added: animal and plant life has begun to regenerate according to 20 thousand soil and water samples taken from the area.

(Press Office of the Ministry of Rural Development)"

Source: kormany.hu

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