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The decontamination of El Hondon will enable the creation of urban areas and green areas (09/10/2017)

The researcher responsible for the research, management and recovery of soils at the Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena (UPCT), Angel Faz, announced this morning the conclusions of his work on "Characterization, diagnosis and risk analysis of soils, rafts and collections on the plot of El Hondón ".

The results have been presented in the auditorium of the Higher Technical School of Telecommunication Engineering, with the previous intervention of the acting mayor, Juan Pedro Torralba, the Councilor for Sustainable Development, María José Soler.

The event was also attended by municipal technicians from the areas that have led the study, neighbors, media, regional soil technicians and land management, as well as representatives of municipal political groups.

The report presented today was commissioned by the areas of Sustainable Development and Quality of Life to know the existing residues in the plot that once occupied the fertilizer factories that were on the plot.

The study has determined the existing residues in the area, analyzing in depth four large areas with presence mainly of pyrite and phosphogypsum, and a risk analysis has been developed.

Likewise, a preliminary project has been prepared on how the plot could remain after the actions recommended by the research team and its possible use as urban land.

Faz has indicated that the alternative that arises is the confinement of pyrite, contaminated soils and encapsulate phosphogypsum in accordance with the guidelines of the Nuclear Safety Council (CSN), which is in charge of treating this type of waste.

This would be an on-site action, whereby all waste would be concentrated in the northern part of the plot of El Hondón, so that it would be completely free of waste around 50% of the land.

The residues would be concentrated in the rest of the plot, which would be encapsulated on the ground and covered with green areas to regenerate the soil.

The encapsulation would isolate the waste with a layer of impermeable material from both the soil and the atmosphere.

Researchers have presented the three-dimensional images of the rafts and collections that have been developed to measure their exact volumes, as well as the laboratory analyzes of the numerous surveys and surface samples made, detailing the levels of acidity, salinity and toxic metals (lead, zinc , copper, arsenic, chromium, nickel, cadmium and mercury) at different depths.

The project should now be studied by the Region's General Directorate for the Environment and the CSN to see if it is possible to carry out the recommended actions and how to carry them out.

The next step will be the elaboration of a cost plan to assess how much these works would be, which in any case would be much lower than the option of moving the waste and would have a lower risk.

The acting mayor, Juan Pedro Torralba, thanked the work done and indicated that after knowing the results, it will be up to the Government Team to start working on the alternatives.

For its part, the Coordinator of Sustainable Development, Jesus Giménez, has indicated that "with this solid basis" will begin the process of decontamination of the Hondón soils to work on future urban development that "will always have to be conditioned by these tasks of decontamination "and the creation of green zones to be able to" carry out the satisfactory actions for the neighbors that will be for the whole municipality ".

Source: Ayuntamiento de Cartagena

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