The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) are addressing urgent asbestos concerns in Wallaga Lake.
The EPA remediation works for asbestos-contaminated land started at 35 residential properties on Monday (December 4) after recent earthworks exposed asbestos.
The priority works will remove asbestos disturbed by recent fencing works including scattered pieces of asbestos exposed in the front and back yards of each of the residential properties.
EPA Acting Executive Director for Programs and Innovation, Arminda Ryan, said the EPA has been working closely with the Roads to Home program, NSW Public Works (NSWPW) and Merrimans Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC) to plan remediation of legacy asbestos in Wallaga Lake.
“With those original planned works about to commence, community members informed us of some additional and urgent areas of concern, including earthworks that had disturbed buried asbestos,” Ms Ryan said.
“As a result, we have made changes to our planned remediation program to assist the community with this immediate issue,” she said.
“It is of the highest priority that the disturbed asbestos contamination is handled quickly so that the community is safe.
“In conjunction with these emergency works, we’re reminding people to avoid the exposed asbestos contaminated areas until it is removed.”
A second round of more comprehensive remediation works will begin in early 2024. That will include the removal of asbestos from nine houses, relocation of an asbestos storage shed, and the temporary employment of community members trained in asbestos removal.
A meeting to notify the community and discuss the remediation works was held on Thursday (November 30) with representatives from the EPA, Roads to Home, NSWPW and Merrimans LALC in attendance.
Remediating asbestos-contaminated land is an ongoing issue in Australia, and asbestos is still present in millions of residences, or roughly one in three homes.
More information about asbestos is available here www.asbestos.nsw.gov.au
Images: Asbestos NSW