Pyree drum dumping clean up costs $40k

ILLEGAL DUMPING: Fire Rescue NSW Nowra personnel recover the 62 drums on the edge of Crookhaven Creek at Pyree prior to Christmas.
ILLEGAL DUMPING: Fire Rescue NSW Nowra personnel recover the 62 drums on the edge of Crookhaven Creek at Pyree prior to Christmas.

Hazmat team tests liquid from dumped drums on the edge of Crookhaven Creek at Pyree

INQUIRIES are continuing into the dumping of 62 drums on the edge of Crookhaven Creek at Pyree just prior to Christmas, which cost more than $40,000 to clean up.

The 62, 20 litre drums were dumped at the southern end of Mayfield Road near the intersection with Culburra Road, Pyree Lane on December 23.

Some of the drums, which contained paint, thinners and lacquer were in a poor condition and were leaking.

Reported to authorities by a member of the public it is believed the drums were dumped some time between 2am and 10.30am.

Shoalhaven City Council illegal dumping ranger Phil McNeice said investigations into the dumping were continuing.

“The offence carries an on the spot fine of $8000 and anyone found to have been involved in the illegal dumping could also face court action and recovery of all costs incurred which were substantial,” Mr McNeice said.

Fire Rescue NSW personnel from Nowra and Shoalhaven brigades and the Hazmat unit from Shellharbour attended the scene and removed the drums.

A 30 metre exclusion zone was put in place around the location, with Mayfield Road closed to traffic.

Emergency teams were at the location until after 8.30pm carrying out the clean up, cordoning off the area and ensuring none of the liquid had leached into the nearby creek.

The crews returned Christmas eve and with the assistance of a backhoe removed a quantity of soil on the edge of the creek where the liquids had leached.

“The fumes were still strong the next day,” Mr McNeice said.

“Around 8.5 tonnes of soil, which included a buffer section was removed.

“It was disposed of at a special section of the West Nowra landfill.”

The cost of the clean up topped $40,000.

“The cost of the two visits from the Hazmat crew was around $30,000,” Mr McNeice said.

“Disposing of the drums was $3500, the 200 litre Hazmat recovery drums in which the dumped drums were placed cost $4500, while the disposal of the soil was $3141.”

Mr McNeice said it was the third time in 18 months there had been this type of dumping in the area.

“We have had two other similar dumpings but of smaller quantity,” he said.

“The two other dumpings were the same type of tins. One was in close proximity to this incident, while the other was at the top of the car park at the Crookhaven Heads boat ramp at Culburra Beach.

“But in both those incidents none of the drums leaked.

“The crazy thing is just prior to this latest dumping Shoalhaven City Council held one of its regular chemical clean out days and this could have been disposed of.”

Anyone with any information regarding the dumping is asked to contact Shoalhaven City Council Rangers on 4429 3111  or email rubbish@shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au. Information can also be left with Nowra police on 4421 9699 or Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000.