The EPA has been conducting weekly inspections of the Old Red Brick Company’s Beverley site as it removes stockpiles of construction and demolition waste.
Most of the inert waste from the unlicensed part of the site has been removed and taken to the company’s new location at Gillman, where it has been undergoing remediation as part of its site remediation plan.
Small amounts of potential asbestos-containing material have been collected during the remediation process and disposed of at an EPA-licensed site. The EPA has continued to require Old Red Brick Co to undertake air quality monitoring for asbestos and these are publicly available on its website.
The stockpile of processed material has been removed and used as fill for vehicle parking areas at the Gillman site. The inert waste on the licensed site is yet to be moved but this is scheduled to be completed by 30 June 2022.
EPA officers have been liaising with Old Red Brick Co’s environmental consultants at the site to confirm the requirements of the remediation plan are being met. Any inconsistencies have been rectified as part of the EPA’s inspections.
The company has received development approval for the Gillman site from the City of Port Adelaide Enfield and has submitted an application for an EPA licence.
Since the discovery of non-friable asbestos in the material stockpiled by Old Red Brick Co at the Beverley site in December 2021, the EPA has been working with the company towards developing a plan to remove the stockpiled material from the site.
- In late December 2021, Old Red Brick Co appointed environmental consultant LBW Co to classify the stockpiled material and produce a detailed Stockpile Remediation Plan (the Plan).
- The EPA has agreed on the Plan, which includes dust management, noise management and engagement with the Beverley community.
- The Plan outlines how Old Red Brick Co will transport all of the stockpiled waste at Beverley to their site in Gillman for remediation.
- Air monitoring for asbestos will be in place when material known to contain non-friable asbestos is being loaded and removed from the site.
- The Environment Protection Orders will remain in place until the material containing asbestos has been removed, with the anticipated completion date being 30 June 2022.
- Works commenced on 21 March 2022, starting with the loading and transport of material that does not contain asbestos.
- Works to remove asbestos containing material commenced on 26 March 2022.
- The EPA will continue to monitor the site and undertake regular inspections for compliance.
Belington Pty Ltd, owner of Old Red Brick Co, has a general environmental duty under section 25 of the EP Act to take all reasonable and practicable measures to prevent or minimise dust from its operations. This does not mean there can be no dust from its operations. As with all operators, it must have dust management measures in place so dust does not leave the site and cause environmental harm.
Section 25 states:
A person must not undertake an activity that pollutes, or might pollute, the environment unless the person takes all reasonable and practicable measures to prevent or minimise any resulting environmental harm.
This means that the company must do what is reasonable and practicable to prevent or minimise any harm to the environment (or human health).
Failure to comply with the general environmental duty does not in itself constitute an offence, but compliance with the duty may be enforced through issuing an appropriate order or varying conditions of an environmental authorisation.
The key condition in Belington’s licence relating to the control of dust emissions is:
1.1 Dust prevention (S–7)
The licensee must take all responsible and practicable measures to prevent dust from leaving the premises.
A person who contravenes a mandatory provision of an environment protection policy is guilty of an offence.
In addition, activity causing dust may constitute environmental nuisance (an adverse amenity impact on an area) and is an offence under section 82 of the EP Act.
On 22 September 2021, a formal environment protection order (EPO) was issued, instructing Belington to cease receipt, processing and storage of C&D waste material on the unlicensed Lot 2021 McLean Street, Beverley. The EPO included a compliance date of 30 November 2021 as the company had indicated it intended to remove the stockpiled material by this date.
The EPA has been monitoring the company's activity on Lot 2021 McLean Street in response to community complaints about dust and the stockpiling of material.
Belington has exercised its right of appeal in the Environment, Resources and Development Court, including the compliance date of 30 November 2021.
The EPA has required Belington to provide:
- a stockpile management plan
- a dust management plan
- classification of the stockpiled material
- a community engagement plan.
A new compliance date of 31 January 2022 was negotiated, and the EPA and Belington have been working on management plans to minimise dust moving off site and to ensure the safe removal of the stockpiled material in a way that will not cause further impact to the community.
On 22 December 2021, the EPA and Belington attended a conference in the Environment, Resources and Development Court where the company provided further information to support management of the material stockpiled on the unlicensed site.
On 13 December 2021 the EPA sent an independent environmental consultant to inspect and sample the stockpiled material on Lot 2021 McLean Street, Beverley as well as 167–169 and 171 William Street in the same suburb.
Analysis at an accredited laboratory determined that 11 of the samples contained non-friable or bonded asbestos. All were chrysotile fibres, commonly known as white asbestos.
The EPA directed the company on 14 December 2021 to apply a dust suppressant and sealant to the stockpiles by the end of the day.
The EPA engaged an environmental consultant to provide independent air monitoring and the results concluded that no airborne asbestos fibres were detectable during the monitoring period.
On 22 December 2021, the EPA issued another EPO (40137) for the licensed site and directed Belington to cease moving the stockpiled waste, and to apply and maintain an appropriate sealing agent to the stockpiled waste to minimise dust nuisance. The licensed site may continue to receive and clean bricks in a designated area.
On 23 December 2021 an additional EPO (40136) was issued for the unlicensed site, directing Belington to apply and maintain an appropriate sealing agent to the stockpiled waste. This order required 3 actions:
- Cease receiving waste (including C&D waste) other than bricks which can only be deposited at a location on the site agreed by the EPA.
- Ensure the stockpiled waste containing asbestos materials is sealed.
- Engage a consultant to develop a plan to address the management and/removal of the asbestos contaminated waste.
Belington has appealed the orders and the matter will be heard before the Environment, Resources and Development Court.
In accordance with EPA requirements, further sampling of the stockpiles for testing purposes will be undertaken by an independent consultant. During this time there will only be minor disturbances of the stockpiled material in a specific and limited number of locations to collect samples. At this time dust management measures will be applied and air monitoring conducted. Once completed, an appropriate sealing agent will be reapplied and maintained on all stockpiles until a plan is formalised to safely manage the material and remove from the site.
An inspection was conducted by EPA Officers on 24 December 2021 which determined that the stockpiles were sealed and intact.
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