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Where the FAQ are the FAQ's | Oh I get it we are talking Section 57 | But that was a long time ago | What next - radioactive pigeon droppings | Look I'm busy, just get to the point | Does the average person really care | Is Enfield Lock really contaminated | Is the land at Buckingham Palace contaminated ? | Will this site tell me where all the contaminated land is in the UK

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Where the FAQ are the FAQ's

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Now now, we understand that you just want the Faq's M'am, but this is a family publication, and as my brother would say - 'language!'

How would you feel if your 7 year old came upto you and said 'Daddy what's a FAQ', would you say to him 'you dirty little sodomite, go and wash your mouth out' ?

Of course you wouldn't, afterall he'd just come back and then say 'Daddy what's a sodomite', your initial thought then no doubt would be 'what do they teach them nowadays at school?' This would be rapidly followed by the realisation that thanks to Section 28, this was not yet an area covered by British Primary Schools curriculum!


 
Oh I get it we are talking Section 57

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Well done, got it in one comrade !

The prime focus of this Website is Contaminated land in the UK, so why is that of importance? Well if you live in any sort of property (or even if you live in a cave) you might well be affected by 'Contaminated Land'

And what is 'Contaminated Land' - well it is land that might have been affected by the by-products of the Industrial Revolution. Boring, I can hear you thinking - well do you know if your garden was once part of a felt making factory?

Uh huh that's right - 'Alice in Wonderland' or to be more specific the Mad Hatters Tea-party. So why were hatters often mad, well the process of manufacturing felt usually involved mixing a Mercury compund with animal hair. The Mercury evaporated and ended up being breathed in by the hatter, who suffered Mercury poisoning and ended up 'Mad as a Hatter'


 
But that was a long time ago

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Yes it was, certainly in a different century (if not quite in another galaxy), but maybe you just happen to live near a dry-cleaning shop or a petrol station?

Dry-cleaning shops use a variety of solvents (Trichloroethane etc), Petrol stations sell diesel, and of course petrol (which has anti-knock agents such as lead additives and MTBE)

Of course in a perfect world (come back Voltaire all is forgiven) there would never be any leaks or spills into the water-table, but we all know it's not like that.....


 
What next - radioactive pigeon droppings

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Well funny you should mention that, although the two sisters living a couple of miles down the coast from Sellafield / Windscale / Cumbriobyl who discovered in 1998, that they had radioactive topsoil in their garden didn't think it quite so funny.

It seems that a they were feeding a flock of pigeons, which used to hangout at the BNFL plant, and like all good pigeons, they scavenged and then they excreted. The process of excretion involves some degree of concentration (in all senses of the word) so it seems that Saddam Hussein (if he had only known) could have scraped together a nuke or two from car bonnets in the area!


 
Look I'm busy, just get to the point

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Well the point is this, Section 57 of the 1995 Environment Act came into effect on April 1st 2000, and is certainly no joke. Local Authorities now have 15 months to draw up a list of contaminated land in their area.

As of July 1st 2001, not only will HAL shut the pod-door, but the proverbial will hit the fan, as either the owners of that land, or the folks responsible for contaminating it, will have to clean it up.


 
Does the average person really care

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Well if they live at the former Royal Small Arms factory at Enfield Lock in North London, they are aware that Enfield Council decided to set up a panel of enquiry in March 2000 to look at the issues raised about a controversial housing development on polluted land.

More worrying is the fact that according to The Evening Standard of 27th April 2000, all Press (apart from three local papers), as well as experts from a local pressure group and Friends of the Earth were barred from attending the meeting.

The Evening Standard had discovered that planning permission had been granted before key questions on cleaning the site had been resolved. This was followed up by critical reports from Friends of the Earth and the BBC's Panorama programme .


 

Is Enfield Lock really contaminated

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According to The Evening Standard, after 200 years of weapons production at the former Royal Small Arms factory at Enfield Lock, it has been left contaminated by Cadmium, Lead, Mercury, Copper, Nickel, Zinc, Chromium, Arsenic, Phenols, a Cyanide dump, a Gas works and fibrous Asbestos.

The council and developers insist the have met government requirements for cleaning the site up.


 
Is the land at Buckingham Palace contaminated ?

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Of course not!

We are all aware that Her Majesty the Queen recently invested in a company called www.getmapping.com that plans to produce a detailed airphoto map of the UK.

Although these airphotos could be used to assist in the location potentially contaminated areas, this of course is not newsworthy

All we are really interested in hearing apparently, is that thanks to this investment, the Queen is now a 'dot-com' millionairess!

However a new website www.homecheck.com claims that there is also a high likelyhood that the land at Buckingham Palace is contaminated, and that No 10 Downing Street has a dark industrial past which has left a high risk of contamination.

In all probability the contamination at Buckingham Palace is derived from Heavy Metal - as well meaning staff no doubt tried to stunt the growth of Prince Charles interest in Camellia's (the key to their late flowering seems to be the move from a phytogenic to a photogenic environment). If playing Mozart to chicks is supposed to encourage laying, then a bit of Metallica at full-volume will probably stunt anyones growth (it certainly did for Napster's).

As for No 10, well what else can it be but dry-cleaning fluid (the people's trichloroethane to the likes of you and me), afterall spindoctors thrive on it, being as they are - dense, non aqueous, and hazardous to the ozone layer.


 
Will this site tell me where all the contaminated land is in the UK

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In a word - no! The problem is that no one knows where all the contaminated land in the UK is. A good start is to focus on where the Industrial Revolution flourished - the West Midlands for example.

Is this perhaps the real reason that BMW wants out, the potential cost of cleaning up nearly a century's worth of car manufacturing by-products certainly helps to concentrate the mind.

It will undoubtedly require a very special brand of Alchemy to carry out that transmutation, no longer is it enough to convert base metals to gold, now you have to change heavy metals into fields of green!


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