Statement Waratah gasworks site testing

03 Feb 2017

Work on the detailed investigations on the former gasworks land bounded by High Street, Turton Road and Georgetown Road, Waratah have now commenced.

The detailed investigations will provide a better understanding of the nature and extent of gasworks-related substances, and what mitigation measures, if any, may be needed.

In line with best practice, further testing will include additional soil, groundwater and vapour sampling. Additional shallow soil sampling will also be undertaken on public land within 500m of the gasworks footprint.

During the detailed investigation, there will be approximately 200 soil, vapour and groundwater samples taken. The samples will be tested for a wide range of substances associated with Gasworks.

Council has provided properties within the investigation area with an update on the investigations and will continue to update residents and landowners to ensure they are provided with test results and any other relevant information.

Council is liaising with the NSW Environment Protection Authority and Hunter New England Local Health District to ensure any health and environmental concerns are addressed.

Council resolved to award a contract for further investigation at its December meeting to AECOM and the NSW Environment Protection Authority has provided $191,015 for the investigation.

Advice for residents

As an interim measure, Council and NSW Health have provided the following precautionary advice for occupiers of properties within or adjacent to the area:

People are advised not to eat any vegetables grown at the properties or eggs laid by hens there until further advice is provided.

*Avoid having areas of bare soil by maintaining grass cover or otherwise covering bare areas.

*Minimise exposure to soil during gardening activities by minimising dust generation, wearing gloves and washing hands after handling soil.

* If children are playing in sand pits or soil, it is advised that this occur in a raised bed or structure above the natural ground level. The raised bed or structure should contain sand or soil that has not been sourced from onsite so as to avoid any potential contamination.