Bellona reveals shocking lack of control over hazardous waste in Sandefjord, Norway

Bellona-leder Frederic Hauge.
(foto: tone foss aspevoll/bellona)

Publish date: June 20, 2011

Written by: Andreas Kokkvoll Tveit

"‘We have obtained evidences of a serious environmental crime. Our mission here – today - was successful, but now I am even more frightened by the chaos in the oil industry sector when handling hazardous waste," said Bellona President Frederic Hauge.

“Last Monday afternoon on June 20, Bellona agreed with the Norwegian Pollution Control Agency (Klif), the police and Oleon that not a single drop of this waste would be moved before we get all the information regarding the plant”, said Hauge.

Hauge is merciless in his indictment regarding the revelation, which Bellona has been investigating for several months.

The conditions of this plant show that evasion, fraud and carelessness evolve from handling hazardous waste from the Norwegian continental shelf.

Two companies are being reviewed: Oleon, which owns a waste reception facility in Sandefjord, and DVS AS Mongstad, the first receiver of the hazardous waste. “They have both commited environmental crimes: DVS did not properly evaluate the capabilities for the receiver (Oleon) to handle hazardous waste and Oleon did not investigate the source and nature of the waste” said Hauge.

The action has confirmed what Bellona generally expected. Oleon officially admitted illegally storing 30 000 cubic meters of hazardous waste. At this point, a strong effort from the police is expected.

Hauge, who originally comes from Sandefjord, is satisfied by finally having reliable evidences of the technical insecurity of Oleon’s tanks for waste storage.

Bellona’s action will strengthen the efforts taken by Klif on their second test at Oleon’s facility. Now, a down-sampling of tanks is crucially needed for determining the existence of sulfate-reducing bacteria which convert the sulfate into the toxic and explosive hydrogen-sulphide gas and methane.

Contacts for the press:
Sigurd Enge, skipper and advisor: 970 87 533,
Ruth Lothe, inforation officer, Bellona: 90511493,