Environmental Investigation

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Preparation of the Detailed Site Investigation Report

The second stage of the detailed site investigation works at the historical Waratah Gasworks site is now complete. More than 300 samples were collected within the Investigation Area and at locations within a 500 metre radius, between late 2016 until mid-2017, to better understand the nature and extent of contamination present. The Stage 2B Detailed Site Investigation report is expected to be finalised in October 2017.

As part of finalising the report, Council is continuing to liaise with and obtain advice from the Site Auditor,  NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and  NSW Hunter New England Local Health District (NSW HNELHD). This includes technical verification of the test results and interpretation.

The Stage 2B Detailed Site Investigation Report will identify what properties within the Investigation Area, if any, require further mitigation measures to address any identified potential health or environmental risks related to gasworks contamination.

Council will continue to work closely with affected residents and property owners, and relevant Government agencies, leading up to and following the release of the report.

Groundwater and soil vapour monitoring wells, installed on private properties as part of the investigation, when no longer required, will be removed. Each property will be assessed on a case-by-case basis to determine removal timing.

Please refer to  Frequently Asked Questions for further details about the environmental investigation. 

Site map

 Waratah Gasworks environmental investigate - site map (pdf)

Precautionary recommendations

Council is working closely with  NSW HNELHD and the  NSW EPA to address potential health and environmental concerns.

The following precautionary advice has been recommended for occupiers of residential premises, within or adjacent to the Investigation Area, to minimise potential short-term exposure risks to gasworks related substances, until this matter had been further investigated and longer-term advice provided:
  • Not eating any vegetables or fruit grown at the property or eggs laid by hens on the property
  • 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.