Current issues

Broderick Rd clean up project


In April 2019, EPA stepped in to clean up a huge waste stockpile at Lara after the previous operator let the recycling waste grow to dangerous levels. This followed considerable efforts by EPA, City of Greater Geelong, CFA and others to have the site appropriately managed.

Poor site management practices by the previous operator, C&D Recycling, have resulted in an unacceptable risk to the local community, the environment and emergency services in the event of a fire at the site.

The occupier and owner of the site have gone into liquidation. This is why EPA has stepped in to make sure community safety is maintained.

The Victorian Government has provided initial funding of $30 million to maintain fire prevention measures and clean up the site – a job that could take several years as the site contains an estimated 320,000m3 of mostly construction and demolition waste, including materials such as timber, concrete, bricks, plaster, glass and ceramics.

EPA is working cooperatively with City of Greater Geelong to maintain fire prevention measures to minimise the risk of a fire, ahead of and during the cleanup project.

Broderick Road community update - stage 1 of cleanup

Broderick Road community update - stage 2 of cleanup

More information about waste and disposal of waste

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  • Q&As and related issues
  • What is the expected timing for the cleanup?

    The first major stage of work started on Monday 16 September 2019 with the processing of a large stockpile of timber. The timber is being processed and chipped onsite by a local contractor working for EPA. It will then be taken offsite for use as mulch. The process to sort timber at the site will produce about 15-20 per cent waste product for landfill and create approximately 27,000 cubic metres of quality mulch that meets Australian standards. These works are expected to be complete by February 2020.

    The second stage of work will involve removal of approximately 9000 cubic metres of contaminated soil over a four-week period, with set-up commencing 18 November 2019 and trucking starting Tuesday 26 November 2019. The soil contains a variety of contaminants, including metals, plastics and some asbestos, so the removal operation has been carefully planned. These works will be undertaken by a licensed asbestos removalist under strict WorkSafe controls.

    The soil will be kept damp during loading to prevent dust emissions. The loads will be sealed in industrial-grade plastic on-site, in line with WorkSafe regulations, and transported in covered trucks to a licensed landfill in Melbourne, via major transport routes. The loads will be tracked to their destination by EPA’s electronic waste transport certificate system.

    There will be additional asbestos fibre monitoring in the air at the site during the removal of the soil, managed by an independent expert occupational hygienist. Removal works will cease if weather conditions are unfavourable and likely to lead to dust emissions.

    Work on the largest pile will begin in 2020. These works will take longer because they are much more complex. The waste will likely be sorted onsite, so it can be recycled or taken to a suitably licensed landfill.

    During the works, you may see an increase in the number and types of trucks entering and leaving the site during business hours. OHS and environmental management plans will be in place during any excavation and removal works. This includes continuous monitoring and dust control, and notifying adjacent residents and businesses of potential dust impacts.

  • What controls are in place to prevent impacts on the local community?

    OHS and environmental management plans will be in place during any excavation and removal works. This includes continuous monitoring and dust control, and notifying adjacent residents and businesses of potential dust impacts.

    Stage one works (timber processing and chipping) are being undertaken with dust control measures in place, including water sprays. Sorting is being done in an enclosed area with OHS controls in place. The work will stop if any extreme weather occurs, to prevent dust emissions.

    Stage two works (contaminated soil removal) will be undertaken by a licensed asbestos removalist under strict WorkSafe controls.

    The soil will be kept damp during loading to prevent dust. The loads will be sealed in industrial-grade plastic on-site, in line with WorkSafe Regulations, and transported in covered trucks to a licensed landfill in Melbourne, using major transport routes. The loads will be tracked to their destination by EPA’s electronic waste transport certificate system.

    These removal works will be supervised by a qualified, accredited and independent occupational hygienist. The hygienist will monitor asbestos fibres in the air at the site during all removal works. Removal works will cease if weather conditions are unfavourable and likely to lead to dust emissions.

    While all work is underway, EPA will also undertake precautionary sampling of air quality at the boundaries of the site.

    EPA officers will be on site at all times while work is occurring. Council will also be managing site operations.

    Members of the community who have any concerns or enquiries can:

    Email BroderickRd@epa.vic.gov.au

    or call 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842).

  • Is there a current risk of airborne pollutants?

    During excavations and removal works, there is a risk of some dust being unsettled.

    OHS and environmental management plans will be in place during any excavation and removal works. This includes continuous monitoring and controlling dust and notifying adjacent residents and businesses of potential dust impacts.

    Any works to remove asbestos containing material will be conducted under strict WorkSafe Regulations by a licensed asbestos removalist, and supervised by a qualified, accredited and independent occupational hygienist. The hygienist will monitor asbestos fibres in the air at the site during all removal works. Works will stop if weather conditions are unfavourable and likely to lead to unsafe dust emissions.

  • How will I know what is happening?

    EPA will regularly update this web page and provide information through local media.

    You can contact us on 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC) or email BroderickRd@epa.vic.gov.au with any questions.

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  • Who will undertake the rehabilitation of the site?

    EPA has exercised its powers under Section 62 of the Environment Protection Act 1970 and will project manage the works in cooperation with City of Greater Geelong. A dedicated project team has been established and is based at the site.

    EPA will engage appropriately qualified contractors to complete the works.

  • How long will the cleanup take?

    The cleanup is expected to take up to three years due to the significant volume of waste at the site.

    Throughout this period EPA and the City of Greater Geelong will keep the community informed of the progress being made.

    The site will be under 24/7 security and have fire mitigation measures in place to reduce the risk of fire at the premises.

  • How much will the cleanup cost, and who is paying for it?

    The Victorian Government has provided initial funding of $30 million to maintain fire prevention measures and clean up the site. The full cost of cleanup will be determined through government procurement processes.

    EPA will pursue the previous site occupiers, owners, company directors and any other relevant parties, on behalf of Government, to seek to recover the costs of the cleanup.

  • How do I get a job as part of the cleanup project?

    EPA is managing the approach to site rehabilitation and associated procurement for the contaminated site. We acknowledge that there is a lot of interest in assisting with the cleanup.
     
    Individuals will not be employed directly. Contractor companies successful in the tendering process will be responsible.

    We will be making decisions in line with government procurement practices.

    Please keep checking this page for any updates on the Broderick Rd Clean Up Project.

  • To what extent will the site be ‘cleaned up’?

    The waste accumulated onsite will be cleaned up and recycled or disposed of in an appropriate manner. Infrastructure such as the office building and sheds will be maintained and left onsite.

  • What will happen to the site after it’s cleaned up?

    The land will likely be sold to recover costs associated with the cleanup and fire prevention measures being implemented.

    EPA has statutory powers to sell the land following a cleanup to recover its costs for the cleanup.

    The cleanup does not alter any planning scheme and permit requirements or restrictions. City of Greater Geelong and the responsible authority under the Planning and Environment Act will need to consider what future uses would be suitable for the site.

  • Where will the materials removed from the site be sent?

    Waste materials will be recycled where possible, with some of the waste taken to landfill. The recyclable materials will be sent to an appropriate facility for processing.

  • What is in the waste stockpile?

    The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) heard in April 2018 that the site contains an estimated 320,000 m3 of material.

    The material mainly consists of construction and demolition waste – a combination of timber (painted, treated, untreated, engineered), concrete, bricks, rock, soil, wood chips, metal, plaster, fabric, plastics, paper, cardboard, glass, ceramics and electronic cables and components. 

  • Is there asbestos in the stockpile?

    Under the VCAT orders, the site occupier and owner were required to conduct a sampling program to inform a preliminary fire management plan, rehabilitation plan and a development management plan for the site.

    That sampling (airborne monitoring) did not detect airborne respirable asbestos fibres in the air at the site perimeter or within the waste stockpiles.

    Asbestos detected in piles of contaminated soil at the site were below health trigger levels. Works to remove this contaminated soil are being conducted by a licensed asbestos removalist, under strict WorkSafe controls, from Tuesday 26 November 2019. These works are expected to take four weeks. Site management controls will include dust suppression activities, including on-site misting systems and wheel washdown.

    The works will be supervised by an independent and accredited occupational hygienist. The hygienist will monitor asbestos fibres in the air at the site during all removal works. Removal works will stop if weather conditions are unfavourable and likely to lead to unsafe dust emissions.

    The soil will be kept damp during loading to prevent dust emissions. The loads will be sealed in industrial-grade plastic on-site, in line with WorkSafe regulations, and transported in covered trucks to a licensed landfill in Melbourne, via major transport routes. The loads will be tracked to their destination by EPA’s electronic Waste Transport Certificate system.

    OHS and environmental management plans will be in place during any excavation and removal works. While all work is underway, EPA will undertake precautionary sampling of air quality at the boundaries of the site.

    The Asbestos in Victoria website is the collective advice from WorkSafe Victoria, EPA and the Department of Health. More information about asbestos can be found at www.asbestos.vic.gov.au/about-asbestos.

    Members of the community who have any concerns or enquiries about these removal works can:

    Email BroderickRd@epa.vic.gov.au

    or call 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842).

     

  • Why was the operation allowed to continue for so long?

    The City of Greater Geelong issued a temporary permit for a small recycling facility at this site in 2013.

    The operator consistently breached planning permit conditions and the Council has battled for the past five years to have the facility brought into compliance or cease operating.

    In 2016 the Council applied to have the planning permit revoked, however VCAT ordered a permanent planning permit be issued. VCAT enforcement orders were issued for planning permit compliance, however the operator continued to breach the orders. Court action has been taken on several occasions.

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  • What fire management infrastructure has been implemented at the site to reduce risk?
    • Secure permanent perimeter fencing.
    • 1,000,000 litre static water tank storage installed.
    • Hydrant lines installed along the south and west boundaries.
    • The site is surrounded by an earthen bund to secure fire water (if required).
  • What fire management measures have been put in place?
    • 24/7 security guards at the site with hourly patrols.
    • Monitoring of mulch piles and recently chipped timber piles.
    • An excavator and water truck are onsite for quick response.
    • An emergency management plan has been prepared, with input from all relevant authorities.
  • What would happen if this site caught fire?

    While there are measures in place to minimise the risk of a fire, and to respond quickly if a fire starts, a fire at the Broderick Road site could cause significant community and health impacts from potentially harmful smoke.

    The waste stockpiles could pose a significant risk and challenge for firefighting agencies if ignited. Potentially contaminated firewater run-off could enter waterways and have long-lasting impacts on the environment and public health.

  • What plans are in place if a fire does start?

    A fire management plan for the site remains in place. Improved road access for firefighters, firefighting water tanks, heavy machinery and water hydrant ring main are provided onsite.

    Emergency services would control any incident at the site. Community advice and warnings would be issued by Emergency Management Victoria as required.

    The CFA has developed several response plans to mitigate the risk where possible. These plans include actions on initial response and the potential for an escalating fire, and involve several aspects, including aviation response, air monitoring, water supply and public information.

    The CFA, EPA and City of Greater Geelong continue to work alongside other agencies to further enhance our response plans.

    There is a highly collaborative approach between the agencies to do all that is possible to reduce the likelihood of fire and limit the impact to the community.

  • Will we have to evacuate if there is a fire?

    CFA will be monitoring the site closely and providing regular updates to the community on fire risk in the event of a fire.

    In collaboration with the CFA incident controller, Victoria Police is the responsible agency to manage and conduct any evacuation. Any decision to evacuate will be dependent upon information provided by EPA as to air quality at any particular time and forecast air quality.

    Local residents may be ordered to shelter indoors and refrain from outdoor activity. You may be required to shut your windows and doors to prevent exposure from outdoor smoke, among other measures.

    We encourage residents to stay up to date with weather conditions and regularly check for fire warning updates during the fire season.

    • Warnings and updates regarding fires around Victoria are broadcast on:
      • ABC local radio
      • VicEmergency Twitter (@vicemergency) / Facebook (facebook.com/vicemergency)
      • CFA Twitter (@CFA_Updates) / Facebook (facebook.com/cfavic).
    • Other ways to stay informed include:

Page last updated on 5 Dec 2019