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Work starts on sealing asbestos in concrete

Work to get rid of asbestos stockpiled at the government quarry at Bailey’s Bay and at Southside is under way.

The potentially hazardous substance has been at both sites for more than a decade and public consultation on a $4.9 million project to get rid of it was launched in early 2011.

A Public Works spokesman told

The Royal Gazette: “The Ministry of Public Works has successfully conducted trials on producing a special foamed concrete that is planned to be used to encapsulate the asbestos which has been stored in shipping containers at the government quarry and at Southside.

“The next phase of work is to carry out a trial placing the foamed concrete in a container to see how it would perform with ‘substitute’ asbestos bags.

“It is anticipated that this trial will be successful and that approval will be given by the Department of Environmental Protection to allow the operation of filling the asbestos containers with the foamed concrete to commence.”

Ombudsman Arlene Brock raised the issue of the asbestos at the quarry while investigating the special development order granted for the expansion of Tucker’s Point resort — and found it posed no risk to the public.

She wrote in her 2012 annual report that her team visited the quarry after members of the public suggested Tucker’s Point should “negotiate a swap of their pristine hills with the brownfield site of the neighbouring government quarry”.

Ms Brock, who concluded the site was not viable for a swap, said her team “observed a number of corroded containers storing asbestos”.

She added: “We contacted the Ministry of Public Works, which responded right away. Further to a 2010 engineering and environmental report, the Government planned to test the appropriate process and materials to encapsulate the asbestos materials and then move the containers to a permanent storage location.

“As of June 2013, the Government has tested the foamed concrete materials and is due to begin a trial run of filling and testing one of the more seriously damaged containers before the next phase of encapsulating and moving all of them.

“In the meantime, Government has contracted local experts to carry out regular air quality sampling adjacent to the containers containing asbestos. To date, every test has confirmed that there is no risk to human health.”

Useful website: www.ombudsman.bm

To be sealed: This file photo from 2004 shows containers of asbestos waste stacked up at Southside.

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Published July 17, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated July 23, 2013 at 12:11 am)

Work starts on sealing asbestos in concrete

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