BT sanitary treatment
Bönnelyche & Thuröe, originally a Danish company, moved their production of herbicides from Malmö to Teckomatorp in 1965. At that time the company was almost the sole producer of herbicides in Sweden. Kemisk Veaerk in Köge A/S bought in 1971 Bönnelyche &Thuröes herbicide production from the Höganäscompany.
After the purchase, the company was named BT Kemi witch business was at that time situated in the shut down sugar beet factory in Teckomatorp. The same year, 1971, hundreds of poison barrels containing leftovers from the herbicide production were dug down within the factory area - and all this without any knowledge to the rest of the world. Further more chemicals packed in big metal barrels gets dug down and covered up at the same time as some of the poisonous stuff is being flushed straight out into the river Braån. A bad smell is spreading around the village of Teckomatorp and along the river Braån. The inhabitants of Teckomatorp signs petitions against the company demanding the activities to stop.
Not until 1975 did the local inhabitants see the results of their work with trying to stop the company's further production, when around 200 poison barrels were dug up. Malmö district court sentence the company BT Kemi to pay 500 000 SEK for compensation to a private person whose crops been destroyed by the poison discharge. Media, both nationally and internationally, is covering the "poison scandal" in Teckomatorp. The question of the company's further existence is dealt with at government level and the decision that the production shall stop is made.
BT Kemi was made bankrupt and one of Sweden's - and Europe's - biggest poison scandals in modern time was a fact. 1978 the State makes a first attempt to sanitize the area of 45 acres from poisons, which was not completely successful. During the years up until today has the question of a following up treatment of the area been one of Svalövs municipality's top priorities.
The issue is of such importance for Svalövs municipality - and the village of Teckomatorps further development, that it's been made a long term aim in the municipality's development strategy under the title strategic fields of objectives for the environment & nature.
After several discussions at different levels with both the County Administrative Board and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency have all parties concerned now come to an agreement to take a first step to investigate if there is another possibility to make a final sanitation of the area.
Svalövs municipality is leading the project to get an advisory report where suggestions for possible sanitation treatment methods are to be presented. Not until this has been accomplished can the final sanitation treatment start.
Thermal in situ
In Calgary, Canada, Dr Bruce McGee had never heard of Sweden’s first environmental scandal caused by BT Kemi. Now his patented IT-DSP-system will help clean the contaminated soil in Teckomatorp – and soon this choice of technique will make the village more known for high temperature in situ remediation than the 1970’s scandal.
The world is talking about Teckomatorp
“That is really beautiful, isn’t it!?” Dr Bruce McGee, President and CEO of Canadian McMillan-McGee Corporation, admires the 235 heater wells, 26 extraction wells, six temperature wells and eleven vent wells that have been installed as part of the in situ thermal treatmentsystem.
Come spring the contaminated soil is to be heated to 300 degrees Celsius and phenoxy alkanoic acids, chlorophenols and chlorocresoles will vaporize to be collected in a treatment system above ground level. This isn’t the first time Dr McGee’s Inductive Thermal Dynamic Stripping Process (IT-DSP) is used for in situ remediation – but the high temperatures needed is almost unique.
“I only know of four or five other high temp-projects in the world. This is really something special and the world is already talking about the BT Kemi remediation in Teckomatorp” says Dr McGee.
For a couple of days in early December Dr Bruce McGee visited Teckomatorp to test three of the heaters and to collect data for the upcoming remediation.
McMillan-McGee is the partner of contractor Geoserve, and the patented IT-DSP in situ technique is Dr McGee’s invention. This technique is what makes the high temperature remediation possible.
“Contaminated soil can be found all over the world and the thoughts on how to remediate these areas vary from country to country. I am really happy that Sweden is choosing thermal in situ remediation where it is best suited.”
Other countries and remediation projects are looking to see what Teckomatorp and the BT Kemi-project is doing to clean its contaminated soil. Among these are the projects working with the Bhopal gas tragedy in India and the military airfields of Vietnam contaminated by Agent Orange. Dr Bruce McGee is also spreading the word.
“I will tell anyone who wants to listen about what happened – and is happening – in Teckomatorp. Because the thing I love more than a good story is a great ending. And we are hoping to contribute with that.”