No toxicity detected in local waterways

Responding to community concerns that leachate from the Brou waste facility was impacting Whittakers Creek and Brou Lake, the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has investigated and found no evidence that the facility is polluting the local waterways. EPA Acting Regional Director for South and West Nigel Sargent said the EPA understands the community has concerns about the water quality of the local waterways and has committed to undertaking water quality testing during future rain events at Whittakers Creek and Brou Lake, to further investigate the matter. “The EPA’s water samples collected in Whittakers Creek in December were analysed at the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) laboratories for heavy metals, nutrients, petroleum hydrocarbons, pesticides and toxicity. “The results found the water samples were non-toxic to the local environment. The EPA will meet with stakeholders this week to talk through the results of the sampling and to listen to their concerns,” Mr Sargent said. Results from water sampling undertaken by a landowner downstream of the waste facility in November 2016 following heavy rainfall were also provided to OEH laboratories for review. Both the EPA’s and the landholder’s samples show similar readings for water quality and were generally within the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council water quality guidelines to protect ecosystem health. Mr Sargent said the Eurobodalla Shire Council’s Environment Protection Licence requires the Council to have measures in place to prevent pollution during stormwater events. The waste facility is designed to contain the stormwater generated in an exceptionally large storm event. Should there be a discharge from the waste facility as a result of this type of storm, it would be heavily diluted, minimising the risk to the environment. The licence also requires the Council to undertake an environmental monitoring program that has been designed to enable the detection of any pollution by leachate from the landfill. The EPA has reviewed the previous 10 years environmental monitoring data for the facility and has not identified any significant issues. If anyone has concerns about water pollution they can report it to the EPA’s Environment Line, Ph: 131555. Media Release

Above: Photos submitted in a Letter to The Editor written by Max Castle that raised concerns over the dead marine life on Brou Lake and in Whittakers Creek.

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