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Tighes Hill remediation

The Tighes Hill Terminal began operating as a petroleum storage and distribution facility in 1936 following the land reclamation from inter-tidal mangrove flat. The Depot commenced operation as a truck depot in the late 1980s.  Mobil became the owner of both properties in 1991 as part of the national acquisition of facilities from Esso.

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, environmental investigation work has been underway to thoroughly assess the properties so that an appropriate remedial strategy can be developed and implemented in order to make the land suitable for future commercial/industrial use.

Project timeline

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: March – June 2017  
Site Preparation for Capping: April – June 2017
Cap Installation Works: July – September 2017  contingent on DA approval, but expected to occur in the second half of 2017, and to be of approximately 3 months duration
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.

Mobil appointed AECOM as the Principal Contractor for the remediation of the Site. AECOM is a global leader in sustainable remediation with extensive experience in the restoration of impacted properties to make them suitable for future use.

The remediation works, which include bulk excavation and on-site treatment of hydrocarbon impacted soil, have been 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. As with any former industrial Site established more than 60 years ago, we anticipated that asbestos may be present, especially where extensive historical filling has taken place. Upon identification, Mobil’s Principal Contractor, AECOM, implemented strict procedures to ensure the asbestos was handled and/or removed in accordance with workplace health and safety guidelines. This included engaging a licensed asbestos contractor to safely manage asbestos containing materials and informing required regulatory bodies such as WorkCover NSW.  

As of 13 May 2016, the planned site remedial works have been completed.

Post-remedial activities

As planned remedial works have been completed, post remedial activities will now follow throughout the remainder of 2016, including re-installation of groundwater monitoring wells removed during remedial excavation and groundwater monitoring. Monitoring will be undertaken over a period of at least twelve months 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 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.

Asbestos capping

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 to cap the impacted soils at the site to mitigate and manage potential exposure risk from asbestos impacts in soil until the site is divested and redeveloped.

We have lodged a Development Application with the City of Newcastle Council to carry out remediation works, including the placement of the capping layer at the site. While awaiting Council DA determination, minor site works will be undertaken involving general maintenance and clean up as well as removal of the remaining tree stumps, to ready the Site for placement of the cap.

Environmental monitoring and management 

With the completion of remediation works, and the commencement of the monitoring period, the potential for emission of dust, odour and noise from the site has ceased. Nonetheless, the level of controls that will be employed for the remainder of the project is consistent with industry practice. We are working closely with the EPA to ensure these actions appropriately manage conditions on site.

Environmental controls to be implemented during placement of the cap will be communicated ahead of commencement of the works. 

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.

Community information

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