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LANXESS is responsible for 43 sites at which chemicals have been produced for 140 years or more. We are therefore also held liable for any contamination at these locations that may have been caused long before LANXESS was established. We are committed to ensuring that remediation work is carried out to the highest possible standards and that future contamination is avoided, a commitment we have demonstrated at our site in Merebank, South Africa.
In 2004, hexavalent chrome associated with much earlier production activities at this location was discovered in the groundwater outside the site boundary. In June 2008, we commissioned a groundwater extraction facility that represents a critical milestone in the remediation operation. In simple terms, this facility pumps contaminated groundwater from the affected area to the site, where it is used as process water in production processes. Throughout the entire project, the safety of residents was our top priority. The remediation concept was developed and implemented in accordance with internationally recognized methods and LANXESS’s commitment to Responsible Care®.
Responsible Care is a global initiative of the chemical industry engaged in the continuous improvement of their contributions to environmental protection.
The success of the operation was due in no small part to the involvement of a team put together in 2004 and comprising representatives from local, regional and supraregional authorities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the Merebank residents’ initiative, interested and affected parties, and LANXESS employees. We will pursue the groundwater remediation project and continue to ensure that Merebank residents’ safety is not compromised.