Environmentalists are organizing a protest against the arrival of a ship in Hartlepool, England from France next week because the ship is loaded with 700 tons of toxic asbestos.
A Hartlepool company has been contracted to dismantle the ship, but environmental groups worry that they do not have the proper equipment or expertise to properly dismantle the ship. Asbestos can cause severe respiratory problems and has been banned in many countries.
The ship, called the Clemenceau, was already partially cleaned in France, but the job was not completed, leaving the estimated 700 tons of the substance onboard.
“The exportation of the Clemenceau also violates international laws governing the transfer from one state to another of toxic waste and war materials,” said a lawyer for AE2D, a French environmental group.
Of course, the shipyard says the dismantling will done professionally and will not pose any hazard to the nearby community.
“The demolition of the vessel will be carried out in two stages. Firstly the de-pollution, during which time we will remove the 700 tons of asbestos-contaminated material, and which will last five months,” said a spokesman for Able UK, the shipyard company which beat out other shipyards across Europe for the project.
“The asbestos-contaminated parts will be buried at a dump situated close to the worksite, and the 24,000 tons of steel will be bought by the concern Corus.”
Photo Credit: daryl_mitchell on Flickr under Creative Commons license.