EPA to investigate council works at toxic landslip
THE state's primary environmental regulator will investigate an allegation of unsafe work practices by Lismore City Council during the remediation of a toxic landslip at a Lismore Heights property.
A spokesman from the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) confirmed the regulator had received a complaint about how council workers removing toxic waste were operating at the Beardow St site.
The allegation is that workers were not following proper procedures and putting themselves and others in danger.
"The EPA has been made aware of this matter," the spokesman said.
On Tuesday the council's infrastructure services executive director, Gary Murphy, said they had been made aware of a complaint to the EPA regarding operations at Beardow St and had responded accordingly.
"Council believes it is operating strictly in accordance with the Remediation Action Plan (RAP)," he said.
"And (we) will continue to monitor dust at the site throughout the operations," he said.
The EPA complaint and subsequent investigation into the works on the property, owned by Ken Allport, constitutes the latest hiccup in the troubled property.
Delays in fixing the problem were first revealed by The Northern Star in January of this year and in a series of reports, followed the progress of restoration works on the privately owned land and a long-running dispute between the landowner Mr Allport, and council.
On Monday morning Page MP Kevin Hogan announced $2.4 million of federal and state government funding to cover the multi-million repair bill to fix the landslip, which exposed toxic waste in the aftermath of Cyclone Debbie in 2017.
Earlier the dispute between Mr Allport and the council resulted in the council taking him to the NSW Land & Environment Court over access to the site to remove the waste.
This action has since ceased after the two parties came to an agreement.