Asbestos Dumping

24 Jul 2013 questionsarchive

I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation a question regarding illegal dumping at Lower Light

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK:  Late last month, it was reported that material from trucks on Port Wakefield Road at Lower Light was friable asbestos. An asbestos warning sign, as well as an asbestos protection suit, was later discovered. After being brought to the attention of the Mallala council, the council reported the incident to the EPA. However, no action was taken by the EPA, and they were later informed that the responsibility rested with the transport department to clean up the material. After some period of time, the material was cleaned up by a crew from the transport department.

I have been informed that this crew had to attend the site twice, as not all the material was removed from the initial clean-up. My questions to the minister are:

1.Which agency is responsible for the roadside clean-up?

2.Can the minister explain why the EPA was not involved?

3.What actions is the illegal dumping task force taking with regard to these sorts of actions?

4.Does the EPA carry out any checks after the clean-up to ensure all the materials have been removed?
The Hon. I.K. HUNTER  (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation)  (14:29):  I thank the honourable member for her most important question and ongoing interest in these very important matters. I am advised, in regard to media reports, that potential asbestos-containing material had been found on Port Wakefield Road. I am advised by the EPA that it had liaised with Mallala council and the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure in investigating the matter.

The Hon. D.W. Ridgway interjecting: 
The Hon. I.K. HUNTER:  I don't think I have to rely on the Hon. Mr Ridgway to tell me my job description; we would all be in trouble if we did that. I understand that the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure dispatched a licensed asbestos removalist to collect and dispose of material, which has been confirmed as asbestos-containing material, at an appropriate licensed waste depot. Recent media coverage includes the Dublin landfill, owned and operated by Integrated Waste Services, I am advised. I am further advised that the file footage used dates back to 2010 for that report.

The EPA has informed me that there has been no evidence presented to the EPA which suggests that Integrated Waste Services is managing asbestos in a manner contrary to its EPA licence requirements, but, in light of recent media coverage, the EPA was contacted on 1 July 2013 with a report of alleged inappropriate asbestos management at the IWS Dublin site.

I am advised that the EPA inspected the Integrated Waste Services asbestos disposal areas on 2 July 2013 and is satisfied that asbestos is being managed in accordance with its EPA licence conditions. Until 1 July 2013, the EPA has not received a complaint regarding asbestos management at a facility over the past 12 months is my advice.