News

Contaminated depot runoff issues already in hand: council

Hutchinson Builders employees inspecting the runoff from the Clarence Valley Council depot site last week.
Hutchinson Builders employees inspecting the runoff from the Clarence Valley Council depot site last week. Tim Howard

UPDATE: MONDAY 2PM: Clarence Valley Council has already satisfied two of the guidelines for controlling the runoff from its South Grafton depot says works and civil director Troy Anderson.

Mr Anderson said the council and the contractor building the depot, Hutchinson Builders, completed works on Friday afternoon that satisfied two conditions the NSW Environment Protection Authority placed on the site.

The EPA directed the council to take the following actions:

a. A suitable qualified and experienced person must prepare and Erosion and Sediment Control Plan for the site which details the sediment and erosion controls which will be implemented to achieve compliance with the Managing Urban Stormwater - Soils and Construction: Volume 1. This plan must submitted to the EPA by Wednesday March 22, 2017.

b. The erosion and Sediment Control prepared in accordance with item a. above, must be implemented by Wednesday March 29, 2017.

c.An inspection and maintenance program for the erosion and sediment controls must be implemented to ensure the ongoing compliance with the Managing Urban Stormwater - Soils and Construction Volume 1.

d. The Erosion and Sediment Control Plan must be updated regularly to ensure that it reflects the nature of the earth works occurring on site and manages the risks posed by those works.

Mr Anderson said Hutchinson Builders staff were onsite over the weekend attending to the erosion and sediment control devices. Up to 7.15am this morning on the site 173mm or rain had been recorded. 

He also noted the depot site was not the only source of sediment contaminated runoff and provided photographs of drains fully or muddy water upstream of the council depot site. "Other sites are contributing to water discharge," he said. "Council's site is not a sole contributor. I am unaware if NSWEPA has taken any action toward the other properties."   
Sediment contaminated runoff upstream from the council depot in South Grafton.
Sediment contaminated runoff upstream from the council depot in South Grafton.
  BEFORE: THE MUDDY run off pouring from the construction site of the Clarence Valley Council's depot in South Grafton, has prompted prevention orders from the NSW Environment Protection Authority.

The EPA issued the council and Hutchinson Builders with prevention notices to address environmental concerns at the former South Grafton Sewage Treatment Plant.

The notices follow two inspections in the past two days where EPA officers observed a large amount of sediment-laden water leaving the site and entering the stormwater system.

The EPA prevention notices state that Clarence Valley Council and Hutchison Builders must now:

  • Engage a consultant to prepare an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan by Wednesday, March 22.
  • Implement the Erosion and Sediment Control Plan by Wednesday, March 29.
  • Implement an ongoing inspection and maintenance program for erosion and sediment.

EPA manager regional operations North Coast Brett Nudd said it was important to have this preventative work done with more rain expected in the coming weeks.

"We've been working with Clarence Valley Council to ensure the necessary upgrades to the erosion and sediment controls are implemented as quickly as possible, to prevent more run off leaving the site and potentially damaging the surrounding area and waterways," Mr Nudd said.

"These prevention notices are an important step in ensuring that medium term actions are taken to protect the environment.

"We've also taken water samples that are being analysed and these results will inform our ongoing investigations."

The EPA will take a range of factors into account to determine its regulatory response, including the degree of environmental harm, potential health impacts, compliance history, public interest and best environmental outcomes.

Members of the community can report pollution incidents to the EPA's 24-hour Environment Line on 131 555.

Clarence Valley Council's works and civil director, Troy Anderson, downplayed fears of asbestos leaching from the site during the recent rain event.

Asbestos found on the site in November brought construction to a halt while more than 70,000 tonnes of contaminated soil was removed from the site at a cost of $7 million.

But pieces of asbestos were exposed after rain last month at some places on the site, during a surface inspection to give it the all clear for work to restart.

This asbestos was removed and the site was given the all clear earlier this month.

Residents have been alarmed at the prospect of asbestos and othe contaminants washing from the site after heavy rain began last Tuesday.

The council has been contacted for further comment.

Topics:  asbestos removal clarence valley council depot epa pollution troy anderson



Yamba intersection's curvy new approach

The new roundabout at the intersection of Coldstream St and River St, Yamba opened to the public after construction was completed on Monday, 26th of June, 2017.

Detours at Coldstream and River St now a thing of the past

Caravan park boss defends evictions

Evans Head Caravan Park

“It is never easy delivering news (about evictions) to families”

#15: Crowd favourite wins crown

CHAMPION: Akwazoff won the 1997 Grafton Cup.

We continue our countdown to the top 20 moments of the July Carnival

Local Partners

Kate's running to make journey easier for others

Fundraising from Gold Coast marathon to help support widows around the country


Bundy mum blogging to get families offline

FAMILY FUN: Deonie Crowther is holding family craft sessions at the Windmill Cafe in Bargara.

Crafty projects a hit with parents and children

Take luxury food, wine tour around Toowoomba

FOODIE CULTURE: Emily Moon (left) and Cheryse Bliesner with the Hummer used for Toowoomba's Luxury Food and Wine Tour.

It is designed to highlight the best produce the region has to offer

11 things to do this weekend

Caz O'Hearns and Austin King are celebrating Harmony Day at the Harwood Hotel on Saturday, 19th March, 2016. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner

Looking for something to do this weekend?

Wonder Woman sequel underway

IT’S MADE $US573 million at the box office so far, so it’s no surprise plans are already underway for a Wonder Woman sequel.

MasterChef: Fish fry feast too much for Ipswich cook

Willowbank native Nicole Stevenson has been eliminated from MasterChef.

NICOLE Stevenson narrowly misses out on MasterChef's Top 10.

Thor on holiday: Chris Hemsworth is here!

If you didn't know who he was - you'd think he was a local

Nintendo set to release the Super NES Classic Edition

Nintendo is releasing a miniature version of their Super NES console

Brad and Sienna spotted ‘holding hands’

Brad Pitt has been spotted at Glastonbury.

ACTORS were seen together at the Glastonbury festival.

Big Brother winner Reggie Bird could end up homeless

BACK in 2003 she won the third season of Big Brother Australia, pocketing $250,000 for her win — but Reggie Bird’s life has been far from easy since then.

The reality star makes a heartbreaking confession

Rocking at high voltage

THUNDERSTRUCK: ACCA DACCA will be taking on the Grafton District Services Club.

Almost the real thing: ACCA DACCA

Island caretaker has weeks to live, abandons paradise

St Bees managing director Phil Webb, has been struck with illness and it has prompted the sale of the island.

His health has deteriorated in the past couple of months

Prime CBD site sold as laneway culture progresses

The Longs building Ruthven Street has been purchased by a group of investors to be renovated into a series of shops/eateries.  June 2017

How investors and council plan to transform the Toowoomba CBD

Major German supermarket set to open in southeast Queensland

German supermarket giant Kaufland is understood to have approached southeast Queensland councils about a possible distribution centre, which would kickstart the establishment of new supermarkets.

Supermarket giant Kaufland has its eyes firmly on Queensland.

Ocean views up for sale at Bargara Rise

LAND RELEASE: Rob Sergiacomi on site at the Bargara Rise development off Watsons Road Bargara.

More ocean-view land comes on the market at Bargara

Gateway to $3 billion, 4800 home new Coast city opens

The start of Peter Crosby Way at Sippy Downs, the northern access into the Harmony master-planned community at Palmview.

Palmview's $3b master-planned community of Harmony

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!