|LEAD Action News Volume
13 Number 3, May 2013, ISSN 1324-6011
Incorporating Lead Aware Times ( ISSN 1440-4966) and Lead Advisory Service News (ISSN 1440-0561)
The Journal of The LEAD (Lead Education and Abatement Design) Group Inc.
Editorial Team: Elizabeth O’Brien, Zac Gethin-Damon, Hitesh Lohani and Shristi Lohani
Planned tailings dam release to contaminate Ringarooma RAMSAR wetland
Media Release Tasmanian Public and Environmental Health Network 3 April 2013
The Tasmanian Public and Environmental Health Network have today written to the EPA Director Alex Schaap asking him to release information about a planned apparently uncontrolled release of 1,000 million litres of water from an old tailings dam near Gladstone in the north east of Tasmania.
Isla MacGregor said “TPEHN has received information that the tailings dam at the former Scotia Mine near Gladstone is soon to be released into the Ringarooma River the lower sections of which are a Ramsar Wetland.”
The mine was previously operated by Van Dieman Mines Pty Ltd which went into administration in 2009. The state government is now responsible for the rehabilitation of this mine site.
TPEHN have requested Mr Schaap respond to a number of critical public and environmental health and safety issues:
What date the release from the tailings dam is planned to occur?
Who is the public official responsible for fully supervising the release for its duration?
Will there be any public notices or notification to property owners to warn of the release in order to protect public and environmental health and safety?
Why is the release necessary at this time?
What is the quality of the water being released?
What ongoing monitoring will the EPA be doing on the impacts of this substantial release on the Ringarooma River, the Ramsar Wetland and for users of this waterway?
“1,000 million litres is an enormous amount of water - one Olympic-size swimming pool holds one million litres of water.”
“The EPA need to keep the public informed of these type of activities to protect public safety and promote greater confidence in the workings of the EPA. ” said Isla MacGregor.
ABC News Tasmania (2013), Lead poisoning fears from rainwater tanks: Video as shown on 7PM ABC News Tasmania with transcript, Aired on ABC 7PM News Tas, 15/3/13, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-03-15/lead-poisoning-fears-from-rainwater-tanks/4576204
Ian Townsend (2013), Don’t Drink The Water. ABC Radio National Sunday Extra Presented by Jonothan Green, recording and transcript at http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/backgroundbriefing/2013-03-31/4594752#transcript
The Tasmanian Public and Environmental Health Network have found that there are over 60 waterways in Tasmania contaminated with toxic heavy metals. You can find this information on the Pollution Information Tasmania website page Contaminated Waterways, Areas and Sites In Tasmania A-Z here:
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Contaminated_Waterways,_Areas_and_Sites_in_Tasmania_-_A_to_Z This site is a work in progress.
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