Hauxton Clean Up

26 May 2010, 06:08 | Updated: 26 May 2010, 06:22

Work to clean up some contaminated land near Hauxton will take until sometime next year, according to the Environment Agency.

The land used to be owned by Bayer Crop Science, which produced chemicals like pesticides and herbicides there since the 1940s.

Over time, the chemicals have contaminated the soil and ground water on the site, and could leak into the nearby River Cam and Riddy Brook.

Because of this, the soil around the land has to be dug up and replaced.

This work is causing some unpleasant smells to be produced as the contaminated soil is dug up, releasing odours that were trapped underground.

The Environment Agency has pledged to work with the contractor doing the work to try and limit the impact of these smells on people who live nearby.

The Health Protection Agency is checking the air quality around the area frequently, and says that, so far, materials in the air are not likely to pose a risk to health.

Environment Agency Area Manager Geoff Brighty said: "Everyone involved with the site is working hard to minimise the nuisance odours caused by the clean-up work.

Our role is to ensure the site is cleaned-up safely, and we are working closely with the HPA which advises on human health.

It is likely that there will be intermittent smells until the work is completed. 

But to safeguard our environment into the future, this work must be carried out now. 

We really appreciate how patient local people have been so far, and the help they have given us with identifying particular problems.

This has already led to changes to site operation, and we are continually reviewing the work as it progresses."

Click here to check up on how the clean-up work is progressing.

Picture (c) South Cambridgeshire District Council