EPA response to asbestos in mulch in parks update 18 April

EPA has been notified by Hobsons Bay City Council that five (5) more of its parks and reserves have asbestos contamination, bringing the total number of sites affected in the local government area to 14.

The notification marks the end of Hobsons Bay City Council’s current assessment of parks and reserves that have received recycled mulch. Of the 21 sites inspected, 7 have been cleared as being free of asbestos.

EPA and Hobsons Bay City Council have determined the likely source of contamination at all but two (2) of the 14 affected parks as being historic dumping or legacy in situ contamination.

EPA will continue to investigate the sources of the contamination in the two (2) sites – Donald McLean Reserve, Spotswood and Kororoit Creek Reserve, North Altona.

EPA will also forensically examine Hobsons Bay City Council’s mulch supply chain, focusing on contamination risk controls of those involved in transporting, handling and laying mulch.

EPA reiterates that its inspection of three (3) mulch producers that supplied Hobson Bay City Council parks showed they have appropriate controls to prevent contamination in the end product.

For detailed information on the current status of sites under investigation by EPA visit: epa.vic.gov.au/for-community/incidents/response-to-potential-asbestos

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