Cash is freed to tackle pol­lu­tion

Bangor Mail - - NEWS -

FUND­ING has been se­cured to clear his­tor­i­cal con­tam­i­na­tion from an An­gle­sey hous­ing es­tate which once housed cop­per smelt­ing works.

In Oc­to­ber 2017, more than 100 homes on the Craig-y-Don Es­tate in Aml­wch were tested for pos­si­ble con­tam­i­na­tion.

The re­sults re­vealed that no con­tam­i­na­tion was found in 95 of the 112 homes, but of­fi­cials agreed that fur­ther as­sess­ments would be needed on the re­main­ing 16 af­ter find­ing high con­cen­tra­tions of ar­senic and lead un­der­neath the homes which could pose a risk to hu­man health.

But, af­ter a bid for sup­port by An­gle­sey Coun­cil, the Welsh Gov­ern­ment has now re­leased a pot of cash to com­plete the re­me­di­a­tion work, agree­ing to fund 60% of the costs with the au­thor­ity to pay for the re­main­der.

The ex­act fig­ure has not yet been made pub­lic but, ac­cord­ing to the Welsh Gov­ern­ment, the fund­ing will en­sure res­i­dents do not need to pay for the work them­selves, while the lo­cal au­thor­ity will not need to pay the to­tal costs from its ex­ist­ing bud­gets.

The En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter, Han­nah Blythyn, said: “The re­me­di­a­tion costs for con­tam­i­nated land usu­ally fall to the owner or oc­cu­pier of the prop­erty, in cases where the orig­i­nal pol­luter no longer ex­ists.

“How­ever, given a num­ber of dis­tin­guish­ing fac­tors at Craig Y Don, we felt it ap­pro­pri­ate for the Welsh Gov­ern­ment to step in to pro­vide fi­nan­cial sup­port for the re­me­di­a­tion work.

“Con­tam­i­nated land mostly af­fects for­mer in­dus­trial, in­ner city and dock­land ar­eas. I’m pleased to an­nounce this fund­ing, which will help re­turn the land to be­ing a safe and clean place for res­i­dents, the com­mu­nity and for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.”

Dur­ing a meet­ing of Aml­wch Town Coun­cil ear­lier this year, it was out­lined that ex­perts had found that the soil would need to be in­gested ev­ery day over a pe­riod of 60 years in or­der to have any neg­a­tive ef­fect on peo­ple’s health.

This was re­it­er­ated by An­gle- sey Coun­cil leader Lli­nos Medi, who out­lined that res­i­dents were not at any im­me­di­ate risk but the au­thor­ity was ap­ply­ing for fund­ing to help carry out the work.

Craig Y Don was built in the 1950s on the for­mer Gwaith Hills metal smelter works, which op­er­ated be­tween 1786 and 1897, be­fore be­com­ing a chem­i­cal works.

The hous­ing es­tate it­self in­cludes both pri­vately owned and An­gle­sey Coun­cil leased homes.

Cllr Lli­nos Medi added: “I’m grate­ful to col­leagues in Welsh Gov­ern­ment for their fi­nan­cial sup­port in en­sur­ing these im­por­tant works go ahead.

“This has been a chal­leng­ing pe­riod for the res­i­dents of Craig y Don, but they have al­ways been our first pri­or­ity.

“Through work­ing in part­ner­ship we now have the fund­ing needed to help all of them, be they ten­ants or home­own­ers.”

When cop­per min­ing ceased, the site be­came a fer­til­izer fac­tory known as “Gwaith Hills” around 1889. The heavy met­als are the same as those found within the ore nat­u­rally found within the moun­tain.

The smelt­ing process at Craig-y-Don in­volved fur­naces, which melted the ore to ex­tract the cop­per, leav­ing be­hind the less valu­able heavy ma­te­ri­als in the form of “clinker”.

The sur­vey un­der­taken by the coun­cil found that ground on cer­tain parts of the es­tate in­cluded traces of this clinker.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.