Boral hydrocarbon spill – South Lismore

During the flood, an undetermined volume of bitumen, asphalt and hydrocarbon (diesel and oil) escaped the Boral Asphalt (trading as Bitupave Ltd) site in South Lismore into the flood waters. Other sources of hydrocarbon contamination have also been identified associated with the operation of North Coast Petroleum. Other upstream sources also may have contributed.

A number of residential properties in South Lismore were impacted by bitumen, asphalt and hydrocarbon contamination, both inside and out. There is also evidence that the contamination has impacted gardens and soil in resident’s yards and public places.

As the premises is not licenced under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997, Lismore City Council is the Appropriate Regulatory Authority in this case. We are providing specialist regulatory and technical advice to Council in relation to the clean-up efforts.

Boral Asphalt has accepted responsibility for cleaning up adjacent commercial and residential premises and has engaged specialist contractors to undertake cleaning works at affected commercial premises to remove bitumen and asphalt material. Council is monitoring the works.

Boral is currently negotiating clean up programs for a number of residential properties and has entered confidential compensation agreements with some property owners, where clean up works have already been completed by the residents. The terms of these agreements are confidential and unknown to Council or the EPA. Council and the EPA are working closely with Boral to ensure that the clean up of these residential properties occurs quickly.

Boral has also undertaken soil sampling at affected properties. Boral’s sampling results suggest that the soils contain historical contaminants that are not related to the flood. Council and the EPA have requested further scientific information from Boral in relation to its position.

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