Update on progress of decontamination of the southern section corridor
In mid 2005 Roads and Maritime Services (formerly Roads and Traffic Authority) discovered significant fuel contamination along the proposed southern section road corridor. Property acquisitions in the contaminated section of the corridor have been delayed. This is because the Federal funding cannot be used for decontamination of acquired land. Subsequently, the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW) has declared the following sites as significantly contaminated land under the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997 (CLM Act).
- Former Mobil depot, Gosport Street, Moree (Declaration Number 21121, Area Number 3237)
- Former Golden Fleece/Caltex depot, Gosport Street, Moree (Declaration Number 21128, Area Number 3256)
The delays associated with the acquisition of the contaminated land have led to Roads and Maritime Services (formerly Roads and Traffic Authority) proposing the Gwydir Highway connection in order to make use of the northern section of the bypass which is now substantially completed. The Gwydir Highway connection will allow vehicles to use the northern section of the bypass (bypassing the town centre) and travel along the Gwydir Highway (Alice Street) to reconnect to the existing Newell Highway (Frome Street).
The New South Wales Department of Planning approved the Gwydir Highway connection on 7 July 2010. A condition of the approval (Condition 18A) requires Roads and Maritime Services (formerly Roads and Traffic Authority) to update the community of the progress of the decontamination of the southern section road corridor.
DECCW is regulating the remediation of these sites under the CLM Act. The former depot operators (Mobil and Caltex) have confirmed their commitment to jointly undertake the remediation works and will provide DECCW with a voluntary management proposal (VMP) for remediation. Roads and Maritime Services (formerly Roads and Traffic Authority) has no part in this process and therefore information provided on this page is already publicly available or has been provided by DECCW, Caltex or Mobil.
The timeline below shows dates on which key events occurred:
- October 2005 - Roads and Maritime Services (formerly Roads and Traffic Authority) advised the DECCW of the presence of contamination in the area of the former fuel depots.
- Roads and Maritime Services (formerly Roads and Traffic Authority) subsequently undertakes additional contamination investigations between 2005 and 2007 and provides reports to DECCW for review. DECCW also requests additional investigations from Mobil.
- 1 June 2007 - Following assessment of the investigation reports, DECCW declares an investigation area due to contamination of the groundwater from the former depot operations.
- 16 November 2007 - DECCW approves Mobil's Voluntary Investigation Proposal to delineate the area impacted by the plume of fuel contaminated groundwater.
- 1 August 2008 - DECCW declares the former Mobil depot a remediation site.
- August 2008 - Mobil commences decontamination of former Mobil depot in accordance with Voluntary Remediation Proposal.
- September 2008 - Mobil advises DECCW of further contamination on adjacent former Golden Fleece/Caltex depot site. Decontamination works cease pending further investigation.
- 17 December 2008 - DECCW declares the former Golden Fleece/Caltex depot a remediation site.
- 22 June 2009 - DECCW receives Caltex investigation report. Caltex confirms its intention to remediate.
- 14 September 2009 - DECCW receives Caltex Draft VMP, and Caltex subsequently commences discussions with Mobil on joint remediation approach.
- 14 May 2010 - DECCW approves Caltex's VMP for the former Golden Fleece/Caltex depot.
- June 2010 – Caltex successfully negotiated an agreement with Mobil to jointly remediate the plume of impacted groundwater. Caltex and Mobil have confirmed that agreement has been reached.
- September 2010 – Caltex submitted a Stage 2 VMP for the purpose of implementing a future Remediation Action Plan (RAP) for the remediation of the plume of impacted groundwater.
Current remediation activities
- Caltex has provided DECCW with a draft VMP for the remediation of the former depot, in accordance with the second milestone of its existing VMP.
- Mobil has also provided DECCW with a similar VMP for the remediation of its site.
- Caltex and Mobil are working cooperatively and have jointly engaged a consultant to prepare a remediation action plan (RAP) to remediate the commingled groundwater plume beneath the two depots.
- Site works (commencing with field trials) are expected to start in the first quarter of 2011.
- DECCW will review the VMP and RAP to ensure that the proposed works meet its requirements for the remediation of the former depots.
- Implementation of the VMP will not impact upon Stage 2 of the bypass and the remediation works can be undertaken regardless of the status of the bypass.
The proposed timing for the completion of remediation activities is expected to be included in the stage 2 VMP.
For further information visit the DECCW website and search under the Moree Plains Shire Council LGA.