Cornwall – Kernow Community Action Pollution was set up in 1989 after a network of Cornish environmentalists became concerned about the indiscriminate dumping of toxic wastes. These wastes were being transported from as far away as the Wirral and being disposed of in former mine workings in mid-west Cornwall.

What was of great concern was that following the re-organisation of local government in 1973 the new Carrick District Council had carried out what was known as OPERATION MINECAP which was ostensibly to make safe all of the former mine workings, but it was noticed that the work had been selective to the extent that some dry-shaft workings close to access suitable for dumping of waste (eg. Contaminated oil and slurry) had been left un-capped.

At around the same time Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) was being formed and it was realised that there was no equivalent group to monitor the former underground workings before the illegally dumped toxins disgorged themselves into the tidal waters.

Environmental groups, generally where there was former mine workings, were conscious of any interest being taken by Nirex.  A member of K-CAP noticed the decision to de-commission Berkeley nuclear power station in Gloucestershire coincided with Nirex develpoing an interest in the Camborne School of Mines facility at the old King Edward Mine.  This determined the group to also become alert to the very grave possibility that mid-west Cornwall had suitable underground repositories for nuclear waste.  From that point on the group’s working brief was to monitor all of Nirex’s activity in Cornwall.  Nirex became the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority in 2004.

To found themselves formally the group took out a test case under the Environmental Protection Act (1990) against the National Trust.  Knowing that the National Trust would be a very high profile defendant the group utilised the case to gain maximum media exposure.  The success of K-CAP in  this case caused the National Trust to make safe Great Wheal Charlotte‘s 1200 foot shaft which was missed by OPERATION MINECAP.

This case was the subject of an article in the Sunday Telegraph, January 5th 1992.  (Greg Neale)

K-CAP’s core membership includes seven founder members who come from a diverse range of backgrounds including the geological and mining sciences. Due to recent activity the group has also seen healthy organic growth over the last 12 months.

Website: https://kcap89.wordpress.com
Email: k.cap89@gmail.com


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