Friday, May 22, 2015

Point Henry needs a clean-up

from w
Here's a story from the Geelong Advertiser about an assessment of Alcoa at Point Henry.

EPA orders Alcoa to start cleaning up the toxic cocktail at Point Henry

·         GREG DUNDAS
·         APRIL 02, 2015 11:11AM

Alcoa has been ordered to clean up its Point Henry site.
A TOXIC cocktail of contam­inants has polluted Alcoa’s Point Henry site, spoiling the water and leaving the company with an enormous clean-up job. The Environment Protection Authority issued the company with a clean-up notice yesterday, detailing the toll of 54 years of aluminium production on the site. The potential contaminants it identified included aluminium, aluminium fluoride, cyanide, carbon, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, spent pot-liner, salt dross, sewage and industrial waste.
The EPA found the company had breached its act because water at Point Henry, including groundwater, was so polluted it was “detrimental to any beneficial use”.It said the groundwater was tainted by iron and nitrate and was contaminated by non-aqueous phase hydrocarbon and chlorinated hydrocarbon.
To start remedying the situation, Alcoa has been given 21 months to complete an envir­onmental site assessment that determines the extent of contamination in soil and groundwater at Point Henry.It also must plan and manage the clean-up of any contamination it finds in that time that is judged to pose “an unacceptable risk to the environment”, and support the EPA in an audit of the 700ha site.
That audit will form the basis of a more detailed plan to clean up Point Henry. While Alcoa could be fined up to $350,000 if it breached the order, company spokesman Brian Doy said the resources giant was “comfortable” with the EPA’s requirements. “It’s part of the process (of decommissioning the plant), and we’ll continue to work through that,” he said. “We understand there is still lots of work to be done.”
The EPA began formal talks with Alcoa about remediation plans for Point Henry midway through last year after the company closed its smelter and prepared for the December closure of the rolling mill. EPA chief Nial Finegan said Alcoa would be required to provide quarterly updates on the progress of the clean-up.“The clean-up process will take time and needs to be ­thorough and well planned so the site can provide important environmental and community benefits for the region into the future,” Mr Finegan said.“EPA will work with Alcoa, through the use of its regulatory tools, to ensure Alcoa is held to account and that the clean-up is completed in a timely manner.”
State Environment Minister and Bellarine MP Lisa ­Neville welcomed the release of the clean-up order.
“The EPA has developed a strong relationship with Alcoa and together will make sure the site is rehabilitated appropriately,” she said.

Geelong Environment Council president Joan ­Lindross, a community adviser to Alcoa on the clean-up, said it was unknown how much damage had been done at Point Henry since Alcoa’s arrival in 1960.“The Geelong Environment Council is really keen to look at all the details because there are certainly concerns within the community about Point Henry,” she said. “There is a lot of buried waste on that site, and there is a concern that pollution has been and will continue to go into Corio Bay.”

Landscape Architecture Student Prize

26 March 2015

The Landscape Student Prize is an exciting new award program offered by Landscape Architecture Australia and the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects to recognize outstanding student work. Every student graduating from an AILA-accredited Australian landscape architecture program in 2014 was considered for the prize, and one winner from each of the schools was selected by their program during end-of-year presentations.
Congratulations to Tang Bryan Shen Siong who is the 2014 Deakin School of Architecture and Built Environment prize winner for his project The Metamorphosis of Point Henry, Jillong.
The Metamorphosis of Point Henry, Jillong seeks to transform an abandoned and polluted site into a healthy and recreational environment, conserving this spectacular site's historic and cultural meaning to reflect its layers, but also Geelong's cultural evolution to prompt future thinking.
Point Henry is a Geelong landmark embodying both Wathaurong country and colonial settlement, and epitomizes a landscape transformation from maritime and economic to post-industrial, while hosting vibrant recreational and bird watching activities. Recently redundant as the site of an aluminium smelter, Point Henry needs a radical juxtaposition of design ideas for a new vision.
This design draws inspiration from the flight of Bunjil – an Aboriginal mythological creator deity – over Corio Bay. Bunjil's wings "hugging" and "protecting" the landscape are seen in a wing-cell structure offering a "respiratree" (respiratory + vegetation) framework to both heal and enable flight.
·         DANNY LANNEN
·         JANUARY 25, 2015 10:32AM

Critical decisions need to be made over the long-term use of the former Alcoa site.
A CRUISE ship port, a Deakin Univeristy campus or a new residential estate are just some of the possibilities for Alcoa’s prime Point Henry site, according to Environment Minister Lisa Nev­ille.The Member for Bellarine stressed this week Geelong faced critical decisions determining long-term use of the land once rehabilitation is complete.“It’s going to be a really critical decision for the community to get this right,” Ms Neville said.“This massive site, north facing bay, near the beach, something that is in line of sight as you come into Geel­ong, what is it that’s the right thing to do there? We know it‘s a deep water port there, it’s got a pier, should we utilise that or should we be looking at residential. What I’m encouraging in government at the moment and having discussions on at the moment is to look at doing a whole-of-government process over that whole area of that land, working with the community about what’s going to deliver the best outcomes for our region because we’ve got to get this right.”
Alcoa and the Environment Protection Authority are continuing negotiations on requirements for clean-up of the site after the closure of the smelter and rolling mill last year.
A timeline for work has not yet been established but EPA chief executive Nial Finegan said the authority was reviewing Alcoa’s draft clean-up plan.“The plan is required to detail the various actions to clean up waste and contam­inated soil, sediment, surface water and groundwater from the premises,” Mr Finegan said. “Alcoa has now submitted comments on the draft notice issued to it by EPA, as is standard practice. EPA will now review these and clarify the final notice requirements. It is anticipated the final notice will be issued in late February.”
He stressed the clean-up needed to be thorough, staged and well-planned. “The EPA will work with Alcoa through the use of its regulatory tools, requiring the clean-up to be completed in a timely and thorough manner,” he said.
Alcoa asset planning and management director John Osborne said a project team would work closely with the EPA in accord with environment protection laws.

“While some minor activities have been undertaken to date, detailed planning is now underway for the full-scale decomm­issioning process which is expected to commence in the near future,” Mr Osborne said. “This will include recovering and selling scrap mater­ials from inside the smelter and rolling mill and removing and recycling equipment.” Mr Osborne said that given the complexity of the project, “we are still developing timelines”.


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