The Terminal largely ceased operation in 1992, with the Depot following in 1994-1996. Demolition of the infrastructure on site began in 1997 and was largely completed by 1999 with some minor final works undertaken in 2008-2009.
Prior to and since the demolition, extensive environmental investigation and remediation work has been conducted to make the land suitable for future commercial/industrial use.
Works at the Mobil Tighes Hill Terminal and Depot have progressed well. Below provides an outline of the project timelines and onsite activities undertaken to date.
• Operational Period : 1936-1992/1996
• Operations Closed : 1992-1996
• Demolition Phases: 1997-1999 and 2008-2009
• Environmental Investigations, Monitoring and Remedial Pilot Trials: 2008-2012
• Remediation Works: July 2014 – May 2016
• Post Remediation Monitoring Program: June 2016 – December 2017
• Asbestos Capping Development Application (DA) lodgment, consultation and approval: February – September 2017
• Site Preparation for Capping: April – September 2017
• Cap Installation Works: October 2017 – February 2018 (including 3 weeks break over Christmas/New Year)
• Final Remediation Project Closure (incl issue of Site Audit Statement and removal of EPA Declaration of Significantly Contaminated Land): est. June 2018
Active remediation works commenced in July 2014 as part of Mobil’s responsibility to restore the environmental condition of the Tighes Hill Terminal and Depot (collectively referred to as the Site) to remediate it to a standard that is suitable for future commercial/industrial use.
The remediation works, which included bulk excavation and on-site treatment of hydrocarbon impacted soil, were conducted in accordance with a Voluntary Management Proposal (VMP) dated December 2011, which was prepared in response to the EPA Declaration of Significantly Contaminated Land Notice 20111104.
In August 2014, asbestos was identified during some of the remedial excavation works undertaken on the Site. Upon identification, Mobil’s Principal Contractor, AECOM, implemented strict procedures to ensure the asbestos was handled and/or removed by a licenced asbestos contractor in accordance with workplace health and safety guidelines.
The planned site remedial works were completed on 13 May 2016.
Since the completion of the planned remedial works, post remedial activities have been undertaken and included re-installation of groundwater monitoring wells removed during remedial excavation, and groundwater monitoring. Groundwater monitoring is expected to continue for the remainder of 2017 to verify the success of the remedial works.
Completion of the remedial works, including post remedial monitoring as described, is subject to review and approval by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA), whose role it is to ensure the remediation is conducted without negative impact on the surrounding environment, and that the end condition of the site does not present an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment.
On satisfactory completion of the monitoring period, the EPA will remove the Declaration of Significantly Contaminated Land Notice.
Following the identification of asbestos in soil during the remedial excavation works undertaken, Mobil has developed a detailed capping strategy for the site to enable future development to occur, along with a Site Environmental Plan to manage any potential ongoing risks.
As future development opportunities for the site are not yet known, Mobil proposes to install a layer of clean imported fill on top of the existing impacted soil, which is known as capping. By capping the impacted soils at the site, potential exposure risk from asbestos impacts in the soil will be mitigated and managed until the site is divested and redeveloped. Installation of the capping layer required lodgement of a Development Application (DA) with the Newcastle City Council (Council), which occurred in February 2017. The Council in September granted its consent for the cap installation works.
Preparation for the works execution has commenced, and are anticipated to start on 23 October. Works will include the following main activities:
• Set up site amenities and environmental controls
• Regrading of the Site surface to provide a solid and appropriately contoured base for capping
• Placement of the imported fill capping layer across the Site
• Construction of stormwater drainage infrastructure to manage rain and flood waters on the Site
• Construction of a detention basin to maintain the Site’s flood storage capacity. The low lying nature of the basin presents the opportunity to vegetate the basin with halophilic plants which will provide a degree of stormwater quality improvement for the Site
Environmental monitoring and management
Comprehensive environmental and procedural controls will be in place during works associated with placement of the cap. In accordance with Council requirements, a Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) has been prepared to document the site-specific safety and environmental management controls to be adopted by Site personnel throughout the proposed capping works. This CEMP will be implemented to ensure that the capping works are carried out in a safe and environmentally acceptable manner, without causing adverse impact to site personnel, the local community or the environment.
The environmental management controls that will be in place to help minimise and prevent the emission of dust, odour and noise from the Site will include the following:
• Silt fencing, bunding and hay bales will be placed around the boundary fence and on the down slope boundary, to control sediment and surface water run-off
• Dust screens (shade cloth) will be maintained around the perimeter of the Site and dust suppression equipment, including water cart / cannon will be on Site and available for use at all times to mitigate the potential for excessive dust generation during Site regrading activities
• An odour management system comprising mobile misters and/or water cart/cannon with encapsulator agents will be used to supress odour at potential emission sources during regrading earthworks activities involving hydrocarbon impacted soils
• Independent (not site sensitised) nasal ranger will be used during potential (but not anticipated) excessive odour-generating activities along the boundary of the Site and in residential area west of the Site
• Continuous air monitoring adjacent to “active working area” during regrading activities which involve cut/fill soils
• Stockpile covers will be utilised on completion of treatment and stockpile formation, to prevent dust and odour release
These controls are consistent with industry practice. We are working closely with the EPA to ensure our actions appropriately manage conditions on Site.
We are committed to completing all remaining works safely and with minimal impact to the community as we carry out the final stages of works at the Site, necessary to render it suitable for future use.
We are committed to carrying out works at the site in a manner that protects the health and safety of our employees and contractors, as well as the surrounding community and environment.
We take every care to minimise the impact of the project on our neighbours, as we continue these important environmental improvement works.
If you ever have a concern or would like more information please do not hesitate to contact us:
- EMES Project Manager: Bogusia Smolenski 0458 741 068
- AECOM Project Manager: Brendan Grant 0417 302 233