Continued drone surveying of the Lemon Springs illegal waste dump in the state’s north west has revealed additional underground locations of interest. Ground penetrating radar was used in the grid pattern search to identify any remaining small suspected locations.
“The site is remote, complex and very large. Up to ten new locations will be inspected. All are small in size and all underground locations still making up about 0.2 per cent of the 1,400 acre property,” said Dr Scott Pigdon, Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) North West Regional Manager.
“The use of high-end aerial mapping and radar technology has made the difference in discovering the dump sites which will now be factored into ongoing management and remediation planning.”
“This work has been both critical and extensive in understanding all the key risk areas for us moving forward, but it should give community confidence that we are doing a thorough job and no chemical waste will be left undiscovered”
EPA is also confident that the dump sites have been concentrated in one half of the property, where there is evidence that vegetation has been cleared. We are now updating our site, safety and environmental management plans to include the additional locations identified.
And in further progress, work to build two internal roads on the property has been completed ahead of schedule as EPA continues to prepare the site for the safe removal of any waste.
West Wimmera Shire Council was awarded the contract to build the access roads which will provide a secure surface to transport the excavated waste materials on the property 15 kilometres south of Kaniva.
“These roads will stop trucks and heavy machinery from getting bogged in the sandy soils. EPA thanks the contractors, West Wimmera Shire Council, for completing this work ahead of schedule,” Dr Pigdon said.
“With the recent drone information, we are now planning for more site stabilisation works to be completed over the coming months. These works are designed to set the site up ready for the next phase of remediation.”
He said drone surveying, using ground penetrating radar, would continue as it provides EPA with real-time information that is critical to the long-term success of EPA’s work.
In addition EPA is also:
• monitoring groundwater quality, which continues to show no sign of contamination
• finalising the additional procurement works for site remediation
• continuing to get all the necessary State and Commonwealth permits to undertake any required on-site works.
• monitoring the security of the premises
• continuing to investigate how the material arrived and then was disposed of onsite
• keeping the community informed through our regular emails, advertising, web updates and local media.
EPA’s website is the best place to visit to stay up to date – www.epa.vic.gov.au/kaniva.