EPA investigation into asbestos in mulch
We are currently investigating the discovery of asbestos in mulch at multiple locations, with the support of the NSW Asbestos Taskforce.
Stay up to date
We encourage the community to contact us via the form below if you have any concerns about recycled mulch around your home. We are also keeping the community up to date by email.
Please complete the form below to be added to our community mailing list to receive updates as our investigation progresses.
We are committing significant resources to establishing how the contaminated material found its way to Rozelle Parklands and the other sites.
This is a complex process involving multiple lines of enquiry, including the mulch supply chain and the potential presence of legacy asbestos at these sites.
The NSW Government has established an Asbestos Taskforce to co-ordinate government agencies and assist in prioritising sites considered of highest risk to the public. This increase in resources will ensure affected sites are secured and remediated.
The taskforce will also provide support to ensure environmental risks to public land are appropriately managed, as we prioritise the criminal investigation into any breaches of law.
Working together with community
Understandably, the discovery of asbestos in mulch at a variety of public locations has caused extensive community concern.
We know the closure of the public areas is frustrating for the community and we’re working as quickly as possible to understand the extent of the contamination.
We are working with councils, landowners, contractors and other agencies to ensure the sites are remediated and safe so they can be reopened to the public.
We have identified several schools as priority sites for testing after the investigation revealed mulch from the same manufacturer that supplied mulch to the Rozelle Interchange had been used at the schools.
We are supporting the schools and the Department of Education to urgently conduct site inspections, testing, and ensure the schools are safe for students, teachers, and visitors.
If you have concerns about your child’s school, we encourage parents to contact the school directly for the most up to date information.
What is the risk to community?
At all locations, except for 5, the type of asbestos discovered is non-friable or bonded asbestos. NSW Health advises non-friable asbestos is considered low risk to human health and the environment.
The best way to reduce the risk associated with asbestos is to prevent the fibres from being released by preventing damage, disturbance, or deterioration.
The EPA is extremely concerned by the discovery of asbestos in mulch and is taking strong action to establish the source and ensure removal of the affected material.
If you have health concerns about exposure to asbestos, we encourage you to contact NSW Health directly.