Locals ‘gobsmacked and disgusted’ by EPA approval of toxic soil dump sites
Residents near the two locations approved by the EPA as dumping site for toxic soil from the West Gate Tunnel Project are outraged by the decision.
On Tuesday, the EPA approved proposals from Maddingley Brown Coal in Bacchus Marsh and Hi-Quality Group in Bulla, near Sunbury, to receive PFAS-contaminated soil from the project.
The sites still need approval from Planning Minister Richard Wynne and the tunneling company before soil can be dumped, but the EPA decision has prompted significant backlash.
Sunbury local Chris O’Neil said he’s “absolutely gobsmacked and disgusted”.
“As a community we have been completely cut out of this whole process,” he told Neil Mitchell.
The state government has suspended residents’ right to appeal the decision through VCAT.
Mr O’Neil says the Bulla site is too close to homes and trucking soil to the site will negatively impact residents.
“We’re going to see 1.5 million tonnes of highly toxic soil dumped just 400 metres from a new housing development that will be home to 20,000 new residents,” he said.
“Further to that, we’ve got 864 trucks a day that will be driving through residential streets carrying this highly toxic soil!
“I think that’s a pretty big social burden.”
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Executive Director of Regulatory Standards, Assessments, and Permissioning at the EPA, Tim Eaton, said the community should not be worried about the dumping locations.
“We put on our website yesterday, hundreds and hundreds of pages of assessment material. I think they should trust us because they can see that is a very comprehensive, very risk averse process,” he told Neil Mitchell.
Press PLAY below for the EPA’s response to residents’ concerns.
(Image – aerial view of Maddingley Brown Coal – Google Maps)