Recommendations accepted on contaminated soil

10 September 2013

Recommendations accepted on contaminated soil handling

Roads and Maritime Services has accepted all key recommendations from an independent report into the management of contaminated soil for the Herons Creek to Stills Road Pacific Highway upgrade. Environmental consultant Brian Gilligan investigated how Roads and Maritime and its contractor BMD Constructions managed a 2012 soil contamination incident. The report is now available on the Roads and Maritime website.

The investigation reviewed events and relevant environmental processes leading to the contamination incident.

“Roads and Maritime accepted all of the report’s recommendations and is working to progressively implement them,” a Roads and Maritime spokesperson said.

“A key outcome found communication when reporting potential environmental issues needed to be improved.

“The report found confusion and misunderstanding could have been significantly reduced with proactive communication and explanation of the contamination issue from the project at various stages from the time of discovery.

“Ensuring the community is made aware of issues affecting them is of the highest priority and Roads and Maritime takes steps to ensure environment and safety issues are communicated quickly to stakeholders.

“The incident started on 27 March 2012, when workers reported feeling unwell and one needed medical attention, after spreading freshly excavated soil on the site.

“The soil was contaminated in 1980 when a truck crashed carrying waste including volatile fatty acids, pesticides, food products and other materials.

“While most material was taken offsite and disposed of according to appropriate guidelines, some waste was buried on site.

“Before work started on the section of the upgrade, remediation work was carried out to remove the buried waste.

“Further testing has found no trace of contaminants including pesticides, petroleum hydrocarbons and volatile organic hydrocarbons,” a Roads and Maritime spokesperson said.

Roads and Maritime will continue to work with the community on environmental issues as part of the Pacific Highway upgrade.

View or download the report .

Contact: Roads and Maritime Services Media Unit: 8588 5999

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