By Claire Ottaviano
THE Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) will assess the potentially harmful impacts of remediation works at a toxic landfill site in Hazelmere.
The former landfill site at Lot 20 Adelaide St, which contains hospital waste and asbestos, was classified as contaminated in 2010 and listed for remediation works.
In Toxic cloud hangs over Adelaide St (Echo News, October 28, 2016) members of the Lot 20 Adelaide St Community Awareness group expressed concern that the five-year excavation of the site would release dangerous asbestos fibres.
The works were put on hold while an appeal against the EPA’s decision not to assess the impacts of remediation works was considered.
Now, three years later, the EPA has decided to undertake a detailed assessment of the potential impacts and environmental issues of remediation works.
Community Awareness group spokeswoman Lisa Cooper said the EPA decision was a step in the right direction.
“Having the EPA response this week was really good news for everyone living in the area and everyone working for a safe remediation of the site,” she said.
“The fight is still not finished, but at least it’s the EPA doing a full assessment and not just relying on a proponent to do the work.”
“We’re not against the remediation, it’s about how the remediation happens.”
Mrs Cooper said support from Forrestfield MLA Stephen Price and National Toxics Network member Jane Bremmer had helped their cause.
In his submission to the EPA Mr Price said it was known that the site contained both approved and unapproved materials and required further assessment before remediation work began.
“Lot 20 Adelaide St Hazelmere has a long history of concern and stress for the residents of High Wycombe,” he said.
“The residents expect, and rightly so, that any activity undertaken in regards to the remediation of Lot 20 is done in a manner that does not have any negative impact on their homes or their lifestyle and there is zero harm to the health of any of the residents or the people visiting.”
The EPA received more than 70 submissions in support of the assessment.
The public will have another chance to comment once the EPA concludes its investigation and detailed report.