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‘Beat swords into plowshares’ was one of the popular sayings in the 70s. In order to – figuratively – remove the swords of the past, Umwelt Control Labor has been ploughing through the grounds of an old ammunition depot on the east bank of the Kiel Fjord. The City of Kiel is planning to build a state-of-the-art gas-fired combined heat and power plant (output: 200 MW) on this site in the near future. Extensive remediation work, however, has had to be carried out on the area, before the new plant can be built. UCL has been responsible for testing the contaminated soil and organising the transport and recycling of the material.
The power plant is to be built on the grounds of an old ammunition depot used in the past by the Imperial German Navy and then later by the “Kriegsmarine” (German Navy: 1935–1945). All of the buildings on the site and all of the bunkers, in which the ammunition had been stored, were destroyed by Allied bombing raids in 1945. With the ground littered with all kinds of ammunition and unexploded bombs, the authorities had classified the area as a “suspected contaminated site” and in some sections as a “contaminated site”.
The project’s first phase, which lasted until July 2014, was to dig up the old shells and rockets and make them safe. To be able to do this, over 30,000m³ of earth had to be excavated and fed through a specially protected separation facility to remove the weapons. Even at this stage, UCL experts were on hand to take samples of the soils and water and then have them tested in UCL’s laboratories in Kiel and Lünen. As the UCL experts were on site at all times and were in close contact with the laboratories, they were able to react quickly to situations and analyse the materials within the shortest possible time.
UCL then used the data collected to draw up a recycling and waste management concept for the materials which would have to be removed from the site, such as earth and construction waste. Moreover, this data was essential for other kinds of paperwork, for example for the waste declaration documents, as well as for providing preliminary findings for the soil and water risk assessment required by the authorities. UCL ensured that the screened material was piled on a very small area of the site before filling out the necessary declaration forms for the authorities. Keeping a close eye on the excavated material, UCL worked closely with transport and recycling companies to make sure that the soil, which was unable to be reused, was removed from the site promptly.
UCL Umwelt Control Labor GmbH and its experts from its consulting department in Kiel have been responsible for all work needed to set up the remediation site as well as for all aspects of the project affected by environmental and waste management law. Besides drawing up work safety plans and coordinating safety measures, this has also included taking samples and conducting the analyses in the laboratory. Here, too, they are following the maxim: “recycling rather than disposal”. Developing a recycling and waste management concept for the excavated earth is, therefore, just as much a part of the package as drawing up a soil and water risk assessment and preparing a remediation concept in accordance with German soil protection laws. UCL’s package of services has been rounded off with its report on the condition of the site at the beginning of the project (drawn up in accordance with the IED Directive) and its professional on-site monitoring measures.
The grounds must be free of ammunition and contaminated earth before the new power plant can be built. Stringent work safety regulations have to be adhered to as the site is contaminated with both weapons and chemicals. Before the actual work began, therefore, UCL prepared different work safety concepts for each stage of the project and instructed all those working on the site about these measures.
In Kiel, they are also following the maxim: “recycling rather than disposal”.
The work is unlikely to be completed before the end of 2014. The project has, however, progressed rapidly thanks to the capabilities of the UCL laboratories and the professional way UCL has been working with the building contractor, the approving and supervisory bodies, the engineers and the waste management businesses.