Ampol’s ongoing testing following the Kurnell oily water spill in April has detected a carcinogen at levels slightly higher than the accepted threshold at three locations along Captain Cook Drive.
Ampol said it had reported and discussed the results with the Environmental Protection Authority.
“We can confirm that there is a very low health risk at the levels of benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) detected,” the company said in an update to the community.
“In addition, the BaP in the soil will not cause damage if it does not come into direct contact with it and the affected areas were already covered or capped with soil as part of this remediation program.
“Covering with soil is a common and effective remediation approach.
“While the BaP detections are likely unrelated to the wastewater treatment plant overflow and pose a very low health risk when plugged, Ampol will revisit the sites to remove and replace the contaminated soil. with BaP to guarantee the tranquility of the community”.
Ampol said that, following the incident, a comprehensive round of soil and water sampling was carried out in key public areas around Captain Cook Drive, Bridges Street, Marton Park and in the horse arena.
“These results were provided to the community on April 19,” the statement said.
“This initial sampling identified areas that require remediation to remove impacted soils.
“Excavation of affected soil is now progressing in 6 of the 8 remedial work zones in public areas, with the remaining areas to begin in the coming weeks.”
Ampol said that to ensure the remediation was done effectively, validation soil samples were collected as excavation work was completed in accordance with EPA guidelines.
“A larger number of validation samples than is required by these guidelines is being collected,” the company said.
“This gives us a higher level of confidence in the success of the remediation.
“As validation sampling results are returned, they are compared to the most relevant Australian health-based guidelines to understand if future site management or assessment is needed.”
Ampol said 203 validation samples had been collected and evaluated to date, with summary maps and tables of the results posted on the company’s website,” the statement said.
“Soil samples taken to validate remediation zones are analyzed for groups of compounds known to be present in petroleum products, including diesel.
“For almost all of these compounds, the concentrations were below health-based criteria.
“Given the high sampling density, this result provides confidence in the quality of the remedial work done to date.”