Norsk Hydro must clean up polluted fjord

Norsk Hydro PollutionPolluted Fjord: The Environmental Directorate instructs Norsk Hydro to clean up the pollution in Gunneklevfjorden near Porsgrunn before 2022. The fjords around Herøya are among the 17 prioritized areas of the National Action Plan for Cleanup of Contaminated Sea beds. Photo: Heiko Junge, NTB / Scanpix

Norsk Hydro must clean up contaminated Telemark fjord

The seabed in Gunneklevfjorden in Telemark is heavily polluted from previous contamination. Now the Environmental Directorate has ordered Norsk Hydro to clean up the mess.


Large tracts of the seabed in Gunneklevfjorden consist of a white and very soft sludge consisting of contaminated magnesium hydroxide.

The bottom sediments are contaminated by various environmental pollutants, including mercury, dioxins and furans, stemming from former industrial activities at Herøya in Porsgrunn.

– There has been an extensive effort to find suitable methods for cleaning up. Hydro must cover the seabed with about 20 centimeters of mass to isolate the environment, so that animals and plants can re-establish in the fjord, says Director General in the Environmental Directorate, Signe Nåmdal, in a press release.

Norsk Hydro must cover up more than 100 football pitches

The sources of pollution stem from Norsk Hydro’s former industrial operations at Herøya. Especially from the chlorine factory, which was abolished in 1987 and the magnesium factory, which was shut down in 2002.

In line with the polluter pays principle, the Directorate of the Environment instructs Norsk Hydro to implement the measures before 2022.

The areas covered by the obligation to cover up to 760 acres. That equates to more than 100 football pitches.

The aim is for a good environmental status by 2027

The Grønland fjords are among the 17 prioritized areas of the National Action Plan for Cleanup of Contaminated Sea beds.

– The aim is to achieve good environmental conditions in Gunneklevfjorden by 2027. The seabed should then provide a good living area for aquatic animals and plants. A well-proven method will be used in the clean up that will lead to a lasting and satisfactory results, says Signe Nåmdal to E24.

There are plans to create new land on Herøya when filling in Gunneklevfjorden. Herøya Industrial Park will implement the task.

– The landfill should be made before the covering of the contaminated seabed, so that it is not contaminated anew, she points out.


Read also: Norsk Hydro accused of pollution in Brazil.


© E24 / #Norway Today