Teesworks - Was this when it all went wrong?

Teesworks was surely irresponsible when the decision was made to carry out demolition before the site was decontaminated. This decision unnecessarily endangered the safety of humans and the safety of the natural environment.

Before carrying out operations a hospital makes sure its operating theatres are sterile, if not the hospital is negligent and patients are likely to die.

In a similar way, carrying out the already complex and dangerous demolition operations in a contaminated environment was surely negligent. Teesworks is one of the most contaminated sites in the UK (Teesworks - COMAH Status) and was one of the most dangerous sites classified on a par with Bhophal and a major oil refinery by the Health and Safety Executive(COMAH (Control of Major Accident Hazards)).

By not decontaminating the site before other work commenced created two major risks:

Instead demolition has been carried out on a very dangerous site.

In August 2019 the Environment Agency gave advice about the development of the Teesworks site and stated that "These decontamination operations should be completed prior to any demolition or longer term restoration of the site." Teesworks has announced that all the demolition is now finished, but the decontamination operations have not been completed and in many areas of the site decontamination has yet to start.

The letter the Environment Agency was sent on 8th August 2019 in response to the outline planning application R/2019/0427/FFM for demolition, preparation and temporary storage of soils and use in remediation land at former South Bank Works, Grangetown Prairie, British Steel and Warrenby Area (most of South Tees site), which was approved on 27th September 2019.