Super depot clean-up starts despite asbestos find
WORK will begin today on removing material, including asbestos, from the site of the controversial $13.5million Clarence Valley Council super depot in South Grafton.
The council's director corporate, governance and works, Troy Anderson, confirmed contractors, Hutchinson's Builders, would start removing material from the site, despite the discovery last month of 900kg of buried asbestos pipes.
The discovery prompted a public meeting last Thursday, during which angry residents spoke of their fears of asbestos- related diseases and complained about the amount of dust escaping from the site onto their properties.
The Environment Protection Agency has given the site and works a tick of approval, even though it chose not to attend last week's meeting.
A spokesperson for the EPA said a Remedial Action Plan is in place for the Tyson St site that outlines strict environmental controls to protect the environment and the community.
"Council and an EPA-accredited site auditor are responsible for overseeing implementation," the spokesperson said.
"The EPA's role has been to review and provide feedback on the plan, which is in line with practice for similar projects."
In discussions prior to the meeting* the council and the EPA determined that the council and the site auditor were best placed to answer community questions about remediation at the meeting last week.
"The plan takes asbestos contamination into account," the spokesperson said.
"The plan also outlines measures to mitigate dust such as watering, and air monitoring points which are strategically located where pollutants are more likely to be picked up."
The EPA has monitored the work and investigated issues raised by the community through contact with the council and the accredited site auditor and EPA site inspections as required.
Feedback from the EPA has been incorporated as the works have progressed, the spokesperson said.
If people have questions, they should contact the council or if they would like to report a pollution incident they can call the EPA on 131555.
* Story altered at 3.07 on December 7 to show the discussions between the council and the EPA took place earlier than this week.