Material at Salt Ash equestrian park tested by EPA

IN the wake of EPA investigations into the dumping of material at Salt Ash, Port Stephens councillor Geoff Dingle has called for soil dumped at Medowie’s Ferodale Park site around the same time to be tested for toxicity.

The EPA was called to investigate the dumping in October by Port Stephens Council of 2000 tonnes of a stockpile of soil and debris at the Bruce MacKenzie equestrian complex for the development of a BMX track.

‘‘I was told that the Ferodale Road material was tested and okayed but now I’m not so sure. I would like to have it tested by the EPA,’’ Cr Dingle said.

‘‘Ideally the material at Salt Ash should be removed from the site and an apology sent to members of the Alexander Park 355C committee.’’

Mayor Bruce MacKenzie said he believed that Cr Dingle’s actions were politically motivated.

‘‘At the end of the day the material won’t be shifted, we would take the matter to the Land and Environment Court if we must.’’

An EPA spokesperson told the Examiner that officers were still investigating the alleged unlawful transport and storage of waste at the Richardson Road complex.

‘‘EPA tests on the soil have indicated that it meets the action criteria for treatment under the Acid Sulfate Soils Manual 1998.

‘‘The council has been voluntarily working with the EPA in the management, treatment and removal of the soil. No clean up notices have been issued to Port Stephens Council to date.’’

A council spokesperson said that it would comply with any direction from EPA.

‘‘Once again, the soil has been independently tested by an internationally respected laboratory and found not to be acid sulfate soil,’’ the spokesperson said.

‘‘It [the tested soil] came from an area that is not in an acid sulfate mapping zone. It has been assessed as excavated natural material. It poses no risk to the public or environment.’’


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