Tata FAQ #15: What standards of clean up do the affected people want?

After 23 years of being neglected Bhopal deserves to have the Union Carbide (Dow Chemical) site cleaned up with the highest international standards and the utmost of care. Survivors and organizations supporting them propose that an independent assessment needs to be conducted of different technologies for removal and containment of hazardous waste to ensure thoroughness and effectiveness and also to ensure that the methods used do not pose risks to the workers involved or to the surrounding communities.
Survivors and their supporting organizations demand that the Indian Government ensure scientific assessment of the depth and spread of toxic contamination in and around the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal. They demand that Union Carbide’s current owner The Dow Chemical Company pay for the clean-up of toxic contamination and compensation for the health and environmental damage caused by reckless dumping of chemical wastes.
Many governmental and non-governmental agencies, including Greenpeace, the State Research Laboratory of Public Health, and the Citizen’s Environmental Laboratory from Boston, have conducted research and studies and have consistently found alarming levels of such toxins as mercury and highly volatile organchlorine compounds (VOCs).
The wastes currently stored at UCIL will need to be transported to another location for destruction. The wastes cannot legally be transported as they are, neither within India nor internationally. Since these wastes are defined as hazardous under waste category 15 of the Indian Hazardous Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 1989: “wastes from manufacturing pesticides and herbicides formulation units”, they will need to be packaged and labeled according to the guidelines for transportation of hazardous wastes published by the Central Pollution Control Board in October 2004. Currently they meet none of the stipulations of this legislation.

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