Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has taken further steps to ensure the health and safety of the community including farms close to a property 15 kilometres south of Kaniva, near Lemon Springs, where illegally dumped waste has been discovered.
Working with Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water Corporation (GWMWater), EPA will continue to expand the groundwater monitoring program onto the property itself. Testing undertaken at surrounding properties continues to show there is no contamination.
Emergency management planning is also well underway for the coming fire season and EPA has issued the owner of the property, Graham White, a notice requiring the site be secured and signage installed as well as an Environmental Site Assessment conducted, to determine the type and extent of the contamination present.
The notice also restrains Mr White from excavating any of the buried waste at the premises without the supervision of an EPA Victoria Authorised Officer.
In the coming weeks, EPA will undertake preliminary excavation works at some of the suspected sites of illegally dumped waste. This will help begin to identify the type and extent of waste buried. At the same time, sub-soil testing will also be undertaken. A specialist will be engaged to undertake an independent risk assessment of the site. This will identify any further measures required, beyond the steps EPA is taking now, as well as provide remediation options for EPA consideration.
EPA Regional Manager North West, Dr Scott Pigdon, said this was a complex operation that will take some time and will remain a priority for EPA.
“Testing shows there is no contamination of the groundwater, nor are there fire dangers due to vapour seepage, but illegally dumping waste will not be tolerated.,” said Dr Pigdon.
“Through the use of site inspections and ground penetrating radar, EPA has identified the presence of various sized chemical containers, as well as solid and inert waste,” he said.
“EPA’s first concern is always the protection of the community and the environment from any potential hazard. It’s important all legal processes are strictly followed for a successful outcome,” Dr Pigdon said.
For regular updates, members of the public can visit the EPA website www.epa.vic.gov.au/kaniva call 1300 EPA VIC or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.