Jumping to conclusions too soon is bad reporting. The following story was run by the Moreland Leader on Monday 17th July yet we are still awaiting the results of tests for furins and dioxins from Germany from the EPA test samples.
Residents have also queried the methodology for the EPA test samples, being limited to surface water samples only from behind the factory and from Merri Creek, offering only a very limited assessment of surface signs of contamination associated with the whole area. The EPA April tests did not take any samples from 100 or 102 McBryde street for testing.
The news report also does not take into account that the owners agents raised at the Planning information and discussion meeting on 29 June that they have drilled some holes to test the depth of the clay cap at 102 McBryde street, and their limited testing of the soil beneath the cap found it was still contaminated at a level consistent with the 1995 environmental audit report.
Their plans also include digging a trench for a sewer connection which is likely to enter from the front verge. The front verge of the property has never been tested for contamination, no soil removed, nor in any way remediated using a clay cap.
Councillor Natalie Abboud has written to the paper seeking to make a correction. Her letter does not appear in the Moreland Leader of 24 July.
Re: Article: Tests Show Soil Not Toxic, July 17 I would like to make an important correction. Yes, the council did pass a notice of motion to have the “site and surrounds” of the old Nufarm site at 100-102 McBryde St, Fawkner tested for contaminates. Two samples were taken, neither of them on the site, which is private property. The EPA and as a result, the MCC has not received the results back from the testing of furins and dioxins which were sent to Germany. Thus, testing of this site is, so far inconclusive. I am very concerned that the site has been proclaimed “not toxic” as this has not been confirmed.
Here is the Moreland Leader article from 17 July:
Tests show soil not toxic
Probe into warehouse application shows no indications of adverse health risk
by Josh Barnes
SOIL samples taken from a toxic site in Fawkner have been cleared of any health risk by the Environmental Protection Authority.
The samples were taken from behind the land of 100-102 McBryde St down to the Merri Creek bed in early May, during an inspection which found the clay cap on the site was in a sound condition.
The EPA tested the samples for various contaminants, including dioxins, herbicides and pesticides.
“The results of chemical analysis of the samples were below the adopted soil quality guidelines, which means there is no indication of any adverse health risk,” an EPA spokesman said.
“EPA hopes to provide comments about the planning permit referral back to Moreland City Council by the end of the week.”
The testing related to a pending permit application for two warehouses to be built on the site of a former Nufarm Ltd factory that produced dangerous chemicals, including dioxins.
Moreland Leader reported in April the application included drilling into the clay cap that is designed to contain dangerous chemicals.
The council referred the permit application to the EPA and asked for an inspection before making a judgment.