India – Hema Chemicals Chromium waste

the details…
Key pollutant
Chromium
Source
Chemical manufacturing
Pathway
  • Water
  • Soil
  • Air
  • Direct contact
Population affected
1,200,000
Children Under 6 Affected
240,000
Industry
Chemical manufacturing
Date started
2006
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Hema Chemicals operated a chromium sulfate manufacturing unit in the Gorwa Industrial Estate of Vadodara from 1965 until 2001 and disposed of approximately 77,000 tons of toxic chromium waste in areas neighboring the unit. The chromium-rich sludge was used to fill up low-lying ditches in the neighborhood and was spread it around the boundaries of surrounding fields. Some residents also used the sludge with cement to construct their houses.

Studies of the region have been conducted under the direction of the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB). Hema’s illegal dumping at this site has spurred the largest public interest litigation in Indian history and legal disputes continue at the Supreme Court. Blacksmith has been supporting a local stakeholders group but remedial action is stalled until the legal matters are completed.