Case Study 2

Remediation of Ebbw Vale former Steelworks, Wales, UK

One of the Stockholm Convention’s targets is to eliminate unintentional production and emission of Persistent Organic Pollutants via promotion of Best Available Techniques and Best Environmental Practices. This case study will present an ongoing remediation of a former steelworks in Ebbw Vale, Wales, UK site contaminated by hydrocarbons. The use of BAT non-combustion technology promoted by the Stockholm Convention will be addressed.

Blaenau Gwent County Borough was originally a remote rural area which was transformed in the late 18th Century into one of the most important iron and coal processing areas in Britain. At the end of the 20th Century the County Borough witnessed a reduction of employment in the manufacturing sector. Ebbw Vale, a former coal-mining and steel-making town, is the largest town in Blaenau Gwent and is the administrative centre of the County Borough.

The entire former steelwork site lies at the bottom of the Ebbw valley to the south of the Ebbw Vale town centre. The surface of the site is estimated to be 75 hectares (185 acres) and borders from the north with the town's residential area of both older and recent properties.

Initiation of Regeneration Process

In April 2004 Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council commissioned engineering and environmental consultancy services to regenerate the site of the former steelwork. After a formal commission, the contractor undertook detailed work to develop regeneration proposal in sufficient detail appropriate for submission as a formal detailed planning application.

Essentially, the objective of the regeneration was to prepare the site for the subsequent development of approved after-uses. Works compromise remediation, earthworks, drainage and landscaping.