Visits to the lindane waste contaminated sites and to the control, containment and remediation facilities for citizens from municipalities located downstream
A factory was producing lindane in Aragon from 1975 to 1989. An estimate of more than 150,000 tons of solid waste with high content of HCH and other organochlorine compounds was produced, and dumped, together with liquid wastes in two landfills. This caused the most severe contamination problem in Aragon. Since 1994, the Government of Aragon implements measures for the control and containment of the contamination.
This has been a matter of concern for Aragon region and for the municipalities of the Gallego river basin for years. Dozens of municipalities take water from this river, and the 60% of the river basin is used for agricultural purposes.
Actions for the control, containment and remediation of the lindane waste contamination require relevant investments of regional public resources every year. Technical and economic efforts are being done to guarantee the water quality for all the municipalities downstream the contaminated sites.
The Government of Aragon is carrying out a great work of transparency for years. In this framework, it is regularly organising visits to the sites for citizens, so that they know and understand first hand the deployment of facilities, personnel and activities that are working for guaranteeing the water quality and with the final goal to completely eliminate the lindane waste contamination.
Stakeholders of the visits are citizens from municipalities of the river Gallego basin.
Resources needed are:
- 1 technician and 1 field assistant to guide the visit
- Poster printing for dissemination purposes
- Bus rental (1 per visit)
- Individual protection equipment for every visitor
Additionally, contacts from municipalities are required, to help for the visits dissemination
Evidence of success
It is a good practice due to the following reasons:
- It is a transparency tool
- It gives first-hand information to the general public
- It helps citizens to understand the work done by the public bodies, which is many times unknown for them
- It is a an effective way of building citizens' trust in the public bodies’ work in general and in the control of the water quality in particular
Potential for learning or transfer
This practice is potentially interesting for other regions for many reasons, among them:
- Soil and water contamination are a matter of concern of the citizens of municipalities with contamination problems
- Seeing the sites, the facilities and knowing the activities first-hand, contributes to increase the confidence in the activities developed by the entities that perform the control, containment and remediation activities.
- Cost for the visits is quite low, moreover if it is compared with the benefits