Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) staff and contractors have had a highly visible presence in the Kaniva region as they continue to investigate a property near Lemon Springs, 15 kilometres south of the Kaniva township, where illegally dumped waste was discovered.
In recent weeks, EPA has overseen the construction of new groundwater bores on the 1,400-acre property, to enable further rounds of groundwater testing to be completed. Groundwater quality remains unlikely to be affected by the presence of the dumped waste but the bores will provide for additional monitoring.
“We are also undertaking further assessments to determine whether any more measures are required, beyond the steps we are already taking, to ensure the safety of the community and the environment,” said EPA Regional Manager North West, Dr Scott Pigdon.
“The site is both large and isolated so we will again use the EPA drone attached to Ground Penetrating Radar technology to conduct further search and mapping exercises.
“In the coming weeks, contractors and staff will be on the property to start preliminary excavation works at some of the suspected sites of illegally dumped waste. This will help identify the type and extent of waste buried.
EPA is also continuing to monitor compliance with the Clean Up Notice it issued to the owner of the property, Mr Graham White. Mr White has not met all conditions of the notice and any failure to comply with the requirements is managed in accordance with EPA’s Compliance and Enforcement Policy.
“We continue to liaise with all relevant authorities including Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water Corporation (GWMWater), West Wimmera Shire Council, AgVic and CFA. Planning for emergency contingencies is well advanced,” said Dr Pigdon.
“In late November, EPA will hold a second public meeting to give the community the latest on what we have found and what is being considered for future actions.
“But as always, the protection of the community and the environment from any potential hazard is our first concern,” Dr Pigdon said.
For regular updates, members of the public can visit the EPA website www.epa.vic.gov.au/kaniva