Public submissions and community comment is welcomed for the proposed short-term storage of non-friable asbestos at the Clare SA Water depot site.
SA Water has applied for the temporary storage of the non-friable asbestos containing material at 31 sites, which will then be transferred to an appropriate EPA licensed landfill.
A spokesperson from the EPA said the material included old pipes replaced due to repair works and would be appropriately contained and meet safe work requirements.
“While the EPA considers that the activity does not pose a risk to the environment or public health, members of the community are welcome to provide submissions as part of the application process,” the spokesperson said.
The EPA has confirmed these existing practices do not represent a risk to workers, the public or the environmentSA Water spokesperson
“The EPA considers the current manner in which these materials are being handled and stored to not be a risk to the workers, the environment or the wider community.”
A SA Water spokesperson said SA Water did not – and was not proposing to – undertake any asbestos processing, or any change to their existing safe practices, which are in accordance with the Australian Code of Practice for Managing Asbestos Containing Materials and relevant Work Health Safety regulations.
The spokesperson said recent licence notification made by the EPA were to formalise long-held safe practices.
“The EPA has confirmed these existing practices do not represent a risk to workers, the public or the environment,” the spokesperson said.
Clare’s specific asbestos material refers to asbestos cement pipes removed from the network when undertaking repairs.
The material is double-wrapped and temporarily held in designated storage bins on secure sites away from public access.
Temporarily holding the pipes at the sites means they’re kept (safe) until they can be permanently disposed of at a licensed facility.
The SA Water spokesperson said the group had a licence to remove Class B asbestos (non-friable) and staff who work with this material were specially trained to ensure their safety and that of the wider community.
“This is in accordance with the Australian Code of Practice for Managing Asbestos Containing Materials and relevant Work Health Safety regulations.”
“As materials containing asbestos are generated from our network, and are temporarily stored at our own sites prior to disposal, we believed this constituted temporary storage of asbestos material at the place at which it was produced and hence no licence was required. Following clarification from the EPA, we have now applied for the relevant licence.” the spokesperson said.
Community comment is open until December 1, 2017, and can be submitted online at epa.sa.gov.au/data_and_publications/applications.