Cuddalore, 7 June 2007: Fifty 200-litre drums containing a smelly liquid waste with an oily film from Bayer Sanmar’s polyurethane factory in SIPCOT, Cuddalore, was exposed by community residents in Kudikadu village yesterday. The Cuddalore District Consumer Protection Organisation registered a complaint with the Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB). However, by the time the TNPCB officials arrived, only four barrels remained onsite. Based on its inspection, however, the TNPCB maintains that the drums contained non-hazardous “polyurethane waste.” This conclusion was arrived at not based on any sampling of the alleged hazardous waste, but on a statement by the company. Even while commending the TNPCB for sending officials to the site promptly, CDCPO has said that it will pursue the TNPCB for proof that the wastes are non-hazardous.
First hand reports by witnesses, including residents of SIPCOT, state that the wastes were in semi-liquid form with a strong odour of neem oil. Odour monitoring by SIPCOT Area Community Environmental Monitors has routinely documented “neem cake” odour in the areas downwind of Bayer Sanmar and Arkema Peroxides.
The wastes have reportedly been removed to the premises of a waste contractor M/s Guru Enterprises on the Cuddalore Chidambaram Highway opposite Tagros Chemicals.