Danish region pauses major pollutant cleanup due to lack of funds 

Ritzau/The Local
Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Danish region pauses major pollutant cleanup due to lack of funds 
The Høfde 42 area at Harboøre Tange in western Jutland. Removal of pollutants from the area has been postponed due to funding problems. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

About 100 tonnes of chemical contaminants, including seven tonnes of mercury, are still in the ground in Denmark due to inflation and skyrocketing energy prices. 


The Central Jutland regional health administration says is needs extra money from the government and environment ministry to complete a purification of the Høfde 42 chemical depot.

Høfde 42 was the site of industrial and governmental dumping throughout the 1950s and 60s. The cleanup, for which 375 million kroner had been set aside, will now cost an estimated 600 million kroner. 

The regional government of Central Jutland issued an urgent appeal to Parliament and the environment minister in place following the November 1st election for extra funds. 


“We’re in the middle of an election campaign and this is not normally the time to get a minister on the line, but we think there’s no time to waste,” said Anders Kühnau, elected chairman of the Central Jutland regional council, in a press release.

“It’s crucial that a solution is found as soon as possible after the election and we can now ensure a welcoming letter [to the new minister] on the other side of the election,” he said.

The regional council decided two weeks ago to postpone purification at the site, which is located at Harboøre Tange close to the West Jutland coast.

The cleanup project’s caused have far exceeded its original budget due to inflation and high energy costs, Region Central Jutland said.

“We’re really sorry that the process of tackling the country’s biggest and probably most complex pollution has now stalled,” Kühnau said.

“The companies are there and they have the technology to do the job, but now we just don’t have enough money,” he said.

The funding issue could delay the project by 18 months, news wire Ritzau writes. Purification had been slated to begin in late 2023.

READ ALSO: PFAS pollution: what do people living in Denmark need to know? 


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