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.


Tighes Hill remediation

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.

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: February – September 2017
  • Site Preparation for Capping: April – September 2017
  • Cap Installation Works: October 2017 – May 2018 (including 3 week break over Christmas/New Year)
  • Removal of EPA Declaration of Significantly Contaminated Land: April 2018
  • Final Remediation Project Closure (incl issue of Site Audit Statement): August 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 included 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-remediation monitoring

Following the completion of the planned remedial works, post remediation groundwater monitoring was undertaken to assess post remediation residual concentrations, in accordance with the VMP. The monitoring included six rounds of groundwater sampling, between May 2016 and December 2017, which confirmed that groundwater on site does not pose an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment.

Remediation completion

Completion of the remedial works, including post remedial monitoring as described above, is subject to review and approval by the NSW EPA, whose role it is to ensure the remediation is conducted without negative impact to the surrounding environment, and that the end condition of the site does not present an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment.

In response to satisfactory completion of the remedial works, the NSW EPA ended regulation of the site and removed the Declaration of Significantly Contaminated Land Notice in April 2018.

Asbestos capping

Following the identification of asbestos in soil during the remedial excavation works undertaken, Mobil developed a detailed capping strategy for the Site to mitigate and manage potential exposure risk from asbestos impacts in soil until the Site is redeveloped. Capping involved placement of a layer of clean imported fill over the asbestos impacted soil.

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 granted its consent for the cap installation works in September 2017.

The cap installation works were undertaken between October 2017 and February 2018 and included the following main activities:

  • Regrading of the Site surface to provide a solid and appropriately contoured base for capping
  • Placement of a geofabric separation layer on top of the shaped surface, prior to 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.
  • Vegetation of the basin with halophilic plants to provide a degree of stormwater quality improvement for the Site as well as to act as a habitat for local fauna.

The capping works were carried out in accordance with site-specific safety and environmental management controls set out in a Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) to ensure no adverse impact to site personnel, the local community and the environment.

Environmental monitoring and management

In accordance with the conditions of the capping DA, an Interim Site Management Plan (ISMP) has been developed for implementation at the Site after completion of the capping works and until the Site is redeveloped.  The ISMP provides management procedures to mitigate potential exposure during ongoing Site maintenance activities. 

Overall remediation closure

Mobil are very pleased to be able to advise that all remediation works including capping of the asbestos impacted materials have now been completed to the satisfaction of the NSW EPA and Council.

Community information

If you have a concern or would like more information please do not hesitate to contact us:

EMES Project Manager: Bogusia Smolenski
+ 61 458 741 068 
Bogusia Smolenski

AECOM Project Manager: Lee Taylor
+61 416 154 746 
Lee Taylor

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