Research Paper: Biodiversity in the 2014 British

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Biodiversity in the 2014 British Commonwealth Games in Glasgow's Arena And Velodrome

Approach and uncertainty:

The expectations are high and so are the costs involved with hosting the 2014 British Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. The general approach that will be taken to reduce the carbon emissions that will be associated with the 2014 British Commonwealth Games in Glasgow (hereinafter alternatively "the Games") and the sources of uncertainty that are likely to be important are discussed further below. At present, the city of Glasgow is faced with an imposed regeneration debate concerning the site of the Games in its East End (An iconic stadium 2009). According to the Scottish government, what is known for certain is that a majority of the residents of the East End believe the Games will have a positive effect on their environmental conditions. A recent survey of East End residents showed that:

per cent think the 2014 Commonwealth Games will have a positive impact in their local area;

76 per cent support, or strongly support, Glasgow hosting the Games -- levels improved during and after London 2012;

44 per cent thought their neighbourhood had improved in the last three years; and,

37 per cent agreed they have influence in decisions made about their local area (Impact of Commonwealth Games on East End 2013).

The survey by the Scottish government also cited a need for additional improvements to the East End environment that should be addressed through regeneration. In fact, fully three-quarters of the survey respondents reported that their local environment was generally "untidy, suffering problems of rubbish and litter" (Impact of Commonwealth Games on East End 2013, p. 2). The Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport Shona Robison, emphasized that the Games are expected to help remediate the East End of Glasgow to provide a wide range of beneficial outcomes, including physical, economic and social improvements (Impact of Commonwealth Games on East End 2013, p. 2). Likewise, a member of the five-man Commonwealth Evaluation Committee for Games stressed early on that, "We want Glasgow 2014 to be remembered as green Games. We want the athletes' village to be the first ever to be built on carbon neutral principles. It is our ambition to make Glasgow's the smallest environmental footprint in the entire history of the Commonwealth Games" (cited in Salmond 2009, p. 16). The Glasgow 2014 Sustainability Plan stipulates that environmental sustainability at the Games will be accomplished using a multifaceted approach that includes:

Remediation of contaminated land at all new venues;

Using a web portal for the procurement of goods, services and works of all types and values for Glasgow 2014;

Upgrading existing stadia and venues;

Constructing a Sustainable Energy Centre for the Athletes' Village NISA and Velodrome; and,

Providing free public transport within Glasgow for spectators with their sports tickets (Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Holds Environment and Sustainability Conference 2013).

The regeneration site for the 2014 British Commonwealth Games in Glasgow had extensive contamination issues combined with being in close proximity to high density neighborhoods, as well as a lengthy history of industrial use that spanned several hundred years (Campbell 2013). The techniques that are used for remediation for sites such as the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games' high-precipitation, high-groundwater-table environment are comparable to the techniques that are used in the United States for this purpose. The remediation process involves removing the source to prevent further contamination. According to Campbell (2013), the cost-effective method of remediation used at the Game site is commonly termed "dig-and-dump"; in this method, soil that is contaminated is simply dug up and relocated to a landfilling site. With this approach, the leftover ground water and surface water are allowed to remediate using the natural ultraviolet rays of the sun (Campbell, 2013). Because the construction of the arena and Velodrome facilities proceeded in two phases, with the initial phase being used to prepare the site and identify contaminants, there are some constraints to the "dig-and-dump" approach that must be taken into account during the planning phase of the remediation as discussed further below.

2.

Specific actions and cost-benefit analysis:

It is important to note that the concept of remediation and therefore the associated cost-benefit analyses involves the entire process of the initial assessment of land that is identified as contaminated, the conduct of preventive, remedial or restorative measures, as well as subsequent inspection and review (Dybowska and Farago 2006). As Dybowska and Farago (2006, p. 71) point out, "Thus, the term [remediation] covers the whole spectrum of clean-up techniques for contaminated land." Some of the specific cost-effective remediation actions that could be implemented include diverting all solid waste materials from the Games' regeneration site to the Farington Waste Reclamation Center or a comparable facility and facilitating the remediation of the "dig and dump" wastes from the Game site.

At present, solid waste in the UK is managed and disposed of using recycling and reclamation, incineration, and landfilling (Campbell 2013). According to Campbell, though (2013), landfilling opportunities are limited in Scotland and there is a need for an alternative disposition approach. For this purpose, Campbell recommends using the Farington Waste Reclamation Center to sort out and recycle waste materials prior to their being transported to a landfill. To the maximum extent possible, this facility separates solid wastes from household garbage, recycles what is recyclable and the remainder is composted (Campbell 2013). In addition, the methane and other volatile gasses that are generated from composting are used for on-site energy production, besides the solar and wind energy sources already in use at Farington (Campbell 2013). In addition, Campbell (2013, p. 42) reports that, "It is one of the few facilities spearheading measures to prevent landfilling as a contamination source and to educate residents about pollution prevention and the environment." Therefore, by diverting all solid wastes from the Game site to this facility, it is estimated that it will be possible to achieve an additional 10-50% reduction in carbon emissions.

These steps would be highly congruent with the stated goals of the Scottish government and the Glasgow City Council for the Games. For instance, Bailie Liz Cameron, Executive Member for Regeneration and Business of the Glasgow City Council (Glasgow Signs up to Cut Construction Landfill 2013) reports that the Glasgow City Council has approved the city's membership in a nation-wide initiative that is designed to reduce the amount of construction, demolition and excavation waste that is transported to landfilling sites. To date, Glasgow is the largest municipality in all of Scotland to enroll in the "Halving Waste to Landfill Commitment" initiative which is being supported by the Zero Waste Scotland initiative. Likewise, this initiative is congruent with many of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Sustainability Plan (2010, p. 5) main themes for the Games which are as follows:

1. Improving health;

2. Community benefits;

3. Low carbon and tackling climate change;

4. Low waste games;

5. Transport;

6. Biodiversity and open spaces;

7. Sustainable infrastructure; and,

8. Games-time sustainability.

In addition, it is possible to further facilitate the biodegration of the soil that is removed from the Game site. In this regard, Lam (2004, p. 24) notes that, "The most widely used clean-up technique involves excavating and removing contaminated soils to be disposed off-site. A fail-safe 'dig and dump' method of remediation ensures that the site will be cleared of contaminants, though it effectively displaces rather than addresses the problem (emphasis added)." Therefore, biodiversity can be promoted and the problem of contaminants addressed simultaneously by introducing bacteria and plants to the remediation mix. Rather thanbeing allowed to simply attenuate in the rain over time, this "relocated" problem of contaminated soil and water can also be addressed using off-site bioremediation techniques that involve unearthing the soil and introducing bacteria to feed on the contaminants that hasten their complete breakdown by 20-50% (Lam 2004), thereby providing a highly cost-effective solution to an ongoing problem. Another in situ remediation process, known as phytoremediation, uses plants that "have an appetite for lead, uranium and other pollutants" and a "genetic makeups that allow them to absorb and store, degrade or transform substances that kill or harm other plants and animals" (Bower 2000, p. 37). This point is also made by Kreitzer (2009, p. 196) who advises, "Phytoremediation is a strategy that uses plants to restore the health of the land. Plants can remove harmful metals, pesticides, and oil from the ground as their roots take in water and nutrients from polluted soil, streams, and groundwater." Likewise, Kreitzer also notes that depending on the types of plants that are used, toxins can be stored, transformed into less harmful forms, or converted into gasses that are released into the atmosphere during plant respiration. The phytoremediation approach will also contribute to the biodiversity of the Game site (Chivian and Bernstein 2008)..

These are important issues because of the known toxic substances that have been identified at the Game site, including the Velodrome. In this regard, Ferguson (2009, p. 7) reports that, "Killer chemicals have been found buried at one of the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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