Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has served a notice on the owners of the Corkman pub site requiring them to show where any waste removed from the site has been taken.
The notice follows the illegal demolition of the pub last weekend and EPA testing which confirmed asbestos was present in waste at the site.
EPA Metro Manager Daniel Hunt said the site owners had until 4pm next Monday, 24 October, to produce documents relating to the removal, transport and disposal of any waste from the site.
“Although much of the demolition waste remains at the premises, EPA is currently investigating claims that some waste was removed during the demolition of the building,” Mr Hunt said.
Mr Hunt said the documents the site owners must produce will help EPA determine if any waste from the site had been illegally dumped.
“We also want to know what measures were taken to ensure the safe transport and handling of any asbestos that may have been removed from the site,” he said.
Mr Hunt said the notice required the site owners to produce documents including asbestos sampling or handling reports, waste transport certificates, truck logs or records, landfill receipts and contracts and correspondence with demolition and transport companies.
He said that anyone who dumps construction and demolition waste, or permits its illegal disposal, faces a fine of more than $7,500 or up to $758,350 if prosecuted.
“This is the second notice issued by EPA to hold the site owners to account for waste at the site. By next Monday, 24 October, the site owners must have also installed appropriate measures to cover the debris so that no asbestos can leave the site.
“While advice we have received to date suggests the risk to the community from asbestos is very low, as a precautionary measure, the Metropolitan Fire Brigade watered the site yesterday to limit any dust leaving its boundary.”
Mr Hunt said the site owners had now complied with a direction in the first notice issued by EPA requiring them to install signage identifying that the site is contaminated with asbestos.
At this stage, tests undertaken by WorkSafe Victoria at the site show no detectable evidence of airborne asbestos.
Additional requirements of the first notice served by EPA include:
The site owners must install controls to prevent any sediment from the premises discharging and contaminating the stormwater system.
They must also engage a suitably qualified asbestos consultant to assess the premises and produce an asbestos management plan.
The asbestos management plan will need to detail both the on-site management and the safe removal of the asbestos. EPA will require the asbestos to be removed once the management plan is developed.
Photo: Signage identifying the site is contaminated with asbestos