WESTERN HARBOUR TUNNEL: Source: Environmental Impact Statement
From local commentators …
-mirrors community concerns in St Peters when Westconnex trashed the joint there
-The State Govt has also ignored the old coal mines under the sludge. The proposed pipes may well be placed over unstable “ground” and crack.
FROM Carrie Fellner’s report in the SMH about the expansion of the privately owned Hong Kong Consortium MTR Metro … and its twin tunnels linking Rozelle with the Warringah Freeway in North Sydney
It looks like more of the same from NSW INC with this project running roughshod over communities in their path … this time dredging toxic sludge, and tunnelling …
‘Thousands of tonnes of toxic sludge containing cancer-causing chemicals is set to be dug up from the bed of Sydney Harbour, under plans for the Western Harbour Tunnel that one of the state’s leading contamination experts fears do not protect the public, including fishermen and families who swim in harbour pools.
It comes amid revelations the exact concentrations of the chemicals in the sludge will remain secret after the NSW government ruled that a report containing the information was “commercial in confidence” and should not be released to the public.
Dr Bill Ryall, who worked as an EPA accredited auditor and has been involved in some of the city’s most significant contamination clean up efforts at Homebush and Barangaroo, has now decided to speak out, slamming the decision to withhold the “critical” report.‘
BECAUSE Dr Ryall is unable to assess the risk to human health or the marine environment with dangerous toxins from industrial activity and storm water built up over 150 years on the harbour floor
-past studies have shown the tracts of sediment are worse than Tokyo Bay or New York Harbour
–chemicals include dioxins, hydrocarbons, tributylin, polychlorinated biphenyls, pesticides, heavy metals and PFAS
-under an EIS the sludge will be dredged for tunnels to be laid along the bed of the harbour
-workers would have to dig up a heavily polluted layer of sediment 1.5 metres deep
.using two pre-fabricated tube tunnels lowered onto the sea floor between Birchgrove and Waverton
SINCE the report remains ‘commercial in confidence’ how can the community be assured that some 760,000 cubic metres of sediment would not be affected by contamination?
DESPITE a risk assessment finding that buried contaminants posed a high risk. What management actions would render them low risk?
HOW is it acceptable that up to 1300 cubic metres of contaminated sediment particles would be lost to the harbour waters … to be ingested by fish, crustaceans and oysters?
WHY is the NSW Government not ensuring adherence to its legislation requiring developers to report contamination to the EPA?
-carry out a detailed investigation
-have remediation action plans signed off before releasing an EIS to the public
IS the secrecy about eliminating the costs in excess of $100M for treating sediments and disposing of the contaminated wastewater?
AND … inevitable odours of ‘rotten egg gas’ from wet acid sulfate soils during removal of the sludge!