Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has been informed that an assessment detailing the extent of any lead contamination at the North Wangaratta Recreation Reserve is unlikely to be completed by its 30 December 2016 deadline.
However, to ensure the report is completed, Wangaratta Clay Target Club (the club), the Rural City of Wangaratta (the council), Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) and partnering government agencies have contributed financially towards the cost.
The reserve was closed to the community earlier this year after lead was detected in soil samples at the site’s eastern boundary above the health limits for recreational levels.
At that time EPA issued the club with a notice requiring it to conduct an environmental site assessment of the reserve that would give a full understanding any contamination.
Unfortunately, EPA has been told that the club has encountered a number of difficulties in completing the report and the assessment is now unlikely to be provided to EPA by 30 December 2016.
EPA is satisfied the club has addressed the matters causing delay and with the support of council and the Victorian Government is confident that the assessment can continue without further delay.
Council will now project manage the outstanding works on behalf of the club to allow the report to be delivered as soon as possible.
Once the report is finalised, it will allow for the most appropriate clean-up methods for the reserve be identified to ensure lead can be removed or managed appropriately to reopen the reserve.
The primary objective of all agencies involved is, and has always been, to re-open the recreation reserve for use as quickly as possible while minimising any risks to human health and the local environment.