MEDIA RELEASE: 12 SEPTEMBER 2008
The City of Casey has welcomed the State Government’s announcement of funding support to assist with providing additional monitoring devices and for immediate remediation work at residences affected by methane gas from the Stevensons Road closed landfill in Cranbourne, and to provide assistance to families affected.
‘The Government’s pledge of $3 million and assistance in sourcing further monitors will provide a significant boost to the mitigation program in houses’, said Casey Mayor Cr Janet Halsall.
‘Funding assistance and other support to be provided by the Department of Human Services (DHS) is also welcome news to the residents who, on the strong advice of the Country Fire Authority (CFA), are now considering their options about whether or not to temporarily relocate until the risks associated with the gas are considered safe by the emergency services.’
Following the detection of a high level reading of methane gas in the wall cavity of a home in Powerscout Retreat last week, the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and CFA have determined that the situation represents a significant risk and residents within a 250 m radius of the house should consider relocating.
‘The wellbeing and safety of residents is Council’s top priority and we are working closely with the EPA to develop additional remediation plans to reduce the gas escaping the site into the neighbouring properties’, said Cr Halsall.
Casey’s Director Infrastructure Services Ray Butler said the Council is developing a number of short-term measures in consultation with the EPA and a panel of landfill consultants.
‘Based on scientific data gathered over the past few months, assessments are being done to identify locations for additional gas extraction wells’, said Mr Butler.
‘In addition to the existing 78 vertical gas extraction wells, Council’s expert consultants are also undertaking a site audit to identify more ways in which Council can further improve the existing infrastructure on site. One of the options is the possibility of installing a series of vertical/horizontal gas extraction wells around the boundary of the site and this may commence as soon as the next few weeks.’
The City of Casey will also continue its rigorous in-home monitoring program and has arranged for 250 additional monitors to be placed in the homes. Residents are urged to cooperate by allowing the people who are undertaking the gas monitoring into their homes so they can test for the presence of gas.
‘Concurrent to the in-home monitoring program, Council is also continuing its intensive monitoring of gas migration in other nearby areas’, said Mr Butler.
‘Since June 2007, 135 storm water pits and 95 electrical pits are being monitored weekly, and 39 landfill gas bores, 25 of which are located in the adjacent residential area, are also monitored on a weekly basis.’
In response to the impact of the gas migration on the residential area near the closed landfill, Council will undertake a revaluation of properties as at 1 October 2008.
In addition, Council has written to the Minister for Planning seeking his urgent assistance to advise of what protective measures can be taken regarding the future construction of homes in the neighbouring residential area.
The Mayor said that the Council was committed to keeping residents informed of this serious issue.
‘In addition to our regular newsletter updates and public meetings held over the last two evenings, an information marquee with representatives from all of the key state agencies will operate between 10am and 4pm until this Sunday, added Cr Halsall.
Further to this, another public meeting for residents neighbouring the Stevensons Road closed landfill will be held at 7 pm on Thursday 25 September 2008 at the Balla Balla Centre, 65 Berwick-Cranbourne Road, Cranbourne East. Council is also setting up a system so that such residents can receive regular updates on their mobile phones.
- A total of 150 monitors will be placed in homes neighbouring the Stevensons Road closed landfill next week.
- A total of 300 monitors will be placed in homes neighbouring the Stevensons Road closed landfill by the end of the following week.
- CFA monitored 125 homes neighbouring the Stevensons Road closed landfill yesterday and found low levels of methane in one house. The remaining houses will be tested by the CFA today.
- 5 households have been provided with assistance to relocate.