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India: Hindustan Unilever Information Note on soil remediation at former thermometer factory in Kodaikanal

Author: Hindustan Unilever (HUL), Published on: 20 January 2019

"Information Note: Soil remediation at our former thermometer factory in Kodaikanal, India", 5 December 2018

The issue of ensuring that the contaminated soil at our former thermometer factory in Kodaikanal, India is remediated to an optimal standard, is a complex one. There have been many claims made concerning the standards that should be applied to the remediation work. Many of these claims have been misleading and have created confusion...

On June 11, 2018, Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) received permission from the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) to commence full scale soil remediation to the remedial standard of 20mg/kg at its former factory site in Kodaikanal. Following this, some of the activists approached the National Green Tribunal (NGT) contesting the soil remediation standard of 20 mg/kg. The NGT directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to obtain an expert opinion on whether the Site-Specific Target Level of 20 mg/kg is the right remediation standard. On November 1, 2018, the Principal Bench of the NGT, Delhi cleared the way for soil remediation at HUL’s former factory in Kodaikanal. The NGT has now reaffirmed the soil remediation standard of 20 mg/kg...

HUL is committed to cleaning up the site to the optimal standard deemed appropriate for the site and approved by the regulatory authorities. TNPCB’s proposed 20mg/kg clean-up standard has also been approved by the CPCB [Central Pollution Control Board]. It has been determined following international best practice, using a site-specific risk assessment which will ensure that the land will be fully protective of human health and the environment. An arbitrarily imposed remediation standard – for example the 6.6 mg/kg standard currently proposed by some activists – would not be based on science and would also have significant detrimental impacts on the surrounding environment. Moreover, it would not be any more protective of human health and the environment than the site-specific and scientifically derived 20 mg/kg remediation standard that has been proposed and approved by the authorities...

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Related companies: Hindustan Unilever Unilever