The 6th International Symposium on Manufactured Gas Plant Sites (MGP 2015) held in the historical city of Ghent, Belgium, was a great success, with 150 delegates and speakers from five continents. The symposium was attended by consultants, remediation contractors, environmental regulators and site owners, making it both practical and applied
|Panoramic photo of Ghent old town taken from the famous Belfry|
|Tondelier former gasworks undergoing remediation on the edge of the city of Ghent|
|Author asking an inspired question!|
The BGS contribution was made by Dr Darren Beriro in the opening presentation of the symposium entitled The Application of Bioaccessibility Testing to Assess the Human Health Impacts at Former Gasworks Sites. The talk gave a concise overview of the bioaccessibility of PAH in soils and made reference to BGS’ in vitro method called FOREhST (Brownfield Briefing Best Scientific Advancement Award Winner, 2013) and a recently accepted paper on the dermal bioavailability of PAH in soil. Both pieces of work were funded by National Grid Property.
In addition to the risk-based management and remediation of former gasworks there were also presentations on the role gasworks played in the industrial revolution around the world. This includes the contribution gasworks made to extending factory operating hours using gas lighting and the utilisation of gas as source of energy. For those that are interested further information about heritage and operational characteristics of gasworks has been produced by Prof. Russell Thomas (Technical Director, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff).
|Inside a former gasholder at the Tondelier gasworks|
As with any good conference there was a field trip. Instead of the typical jewel in the landscape crown of a country, this one was to the Tondelier Development project and involved descending into a former gasholder.
The conference was a very useful way to meet industry and regulatory representatives from across Europe as well disseminating new and forthcoming BGS science on risk-based brownfield management and redevelopment.