Community news updates

Community updates on issues currently being managed by the EPA.

Captains Flat lead investigation

EPA car outside Captains Flat community centre

The EPA, NSW Health, Regional NSW, Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council and other NSW Government agencies are working together at the township of Captains Flat to investigate for high levels of lead, beyond the former Lake George Mine site.

This is precautionary testing in public and community spaces and follows Transport for NSW detecting historical contamination in the rail corridor adjacent to the old Lake George Captains Flat Mine site, at high levels.

  • The EPA has undertaken 80 tests of soil for levels of lead in the township’s road reserves, parks and school, and will share the results with the community.
  • The EPA has also offered soil testing to residents on their own properties.
  • See more information about lead testing in Captains Flat.

Truegain, Rutherford site management

aerial view of the Truegain site

The EPA has been proactively pursuing the owners of the Truegain site to manage the site in a way that prevents any offsite pollution.

The EPA has commenced legal proceedings for allegedly against the owner for failing to comply with a Clean-Up Notice and Cost Compliance notices. Proceedings have also commenced against the owner for allegedly failing to comply with a Prohibition Notice issued by the Minister. These proceedings are currently before the courts.

While the court proceedings continue, the EPA has had installed on-site a collection system that allows contaminated water to be collected and disposed of safely. The system is remotely monitored to manage expected and unexpected rainfall events.

This improves on the previous management system where EPA staff inspected the site weekly while also monitoring the weather for predicted heavy rainfall.

The EPA and Fire and Rescue NSW have inspected the laboratory and office building at the front of the site and removed all chemicals from the building for disposal.

The EPA has contacted the owner requiring them to undertake further works to secure the site.

In consideration of long term solutions, the EPA is currently seeking proposals to maintain and provide partial clean up of the former Truegain site, which has been abandoned since 2016.

The objective of the project is to render the site infrastructure stable so it does not pose a risk to human health and the environment.

 The tender process is being conducted this month.

Port Kembla Grange odours investigation

aerial view of kembla grange

The EPA has been actively responding to many complaints about an ongoing odour issue in Kembla Grange/Farmborough Heights area, with more than 100 calls received from concerned locals over the past few months.

EPA staff are following-up on each report  and seeking to identify the odours, their locations and appropriate solutions. We are:

  • investigating which sites are likely to be contributing to the odours.
  • conducting targeted inspections of all premises in the area with the potential to contribute to the foul odours.
  • working with multiple parties to understand their operations.

Our officers have been meeting with these companies and developing working solutions to see where odours can be reduced or better managed. 

Forestry operations update

The EPA has been advised by Forestry Corporation of NSW (FCNSW) that they will shortly revert to operating under the standard forestry rules, meaning logging in new compartments will not use special site specific conditions put in place to protect burnt forests, following the 2019/20 bushfires.

Based on expert advice and the literature the EPA regards site specific conditions as the most effective way of managing the environmental risks associated with harvesting in landscapes that have been so extensively and severely impacted by fire.

Designed following consultation with experts and government agencies, specific conditions aim to mitigate the environmental risks caused by the bushfires and are tailored for the specific impacts on plants, animals and their habitats, soils and waterways at each site.