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  QUESTION: Lead contaminated soil sample collection in WA, 26 Oct 2004, South Australia

Dear the LEAD Group I am a PhD student, currently enrolled at the University of South Australia, studying with my supervisor, Dr. Naidu, the director of the Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and Remediation (CERAR).

My supervisor and I have a great interest in your website 'www.lead.org.au' and we have read the news titled "WA Lead Mine Tailings Poisoning Scare" written by Patricia Parkinson, The LEAD Group Inc which is mentioning the seriousness of lead contamination in the town of Northampton (WA). We are hoping to collect soil samples from lead contaminated area in WA for my research project which is concerned with heavy metal phytoremediation. We are going to get lead contaminated soil from SA, NSW, and Queensland soon but we failed to find suitable area for collecting soil sample in WA. As you are working for environment protection against lead contamination, I guess you know many sites where is contaminated with lead in WA. We would appreciate your assistance in collecting soil in the lead contaminated area in WA including the town of Northampton mentioned above or advice in directing us to the relevant authority where we can gain permission to collect samples for our research.

Sincerely yours
Kwon Rae Kim

ANSWER: 27 Oct 2004

Dear Kwon-Rae,

I have left a message for the person I believe will be able to help you with details of lead contaminated site owners in Western Australia so that you can seek permission for soil sampling, but since she hasn't called me back yet I figured I may as well email you her details so you can call her directly.

Please contact Kerry Laszig, Manager, Contaminated Sites Branch, Department of Environment (DEP) WA on direct phone 0892227102. One of her staff told me that although a publically accessible database of contaminated sites in WA is in the pipeline, it won't be on the web for another 6 mths. Unless Kerry knows the names of lead contaminated sites off the top of her head, she will have to instruct her staff to go through their internal database site by site looking for appropriate sites.

Apart from the Northampton site, you might want to consider petrol station sites and for that you may be able to obtain samples from Andrew King, BP Kwinana Refinery - Contaminated Soil Landfarming Plant, kingad[at]az1.bp.com, ph 0894199500. The contaminated soil is brought in to Kwinana from as far away as Perth.

There is a very interesting ex-lead smelter site in South Fremantle which is currently being developed as a residential site. Andrew Armstrong is the Stockland (developers) contact re: remediation and residential development of the ANI-Bradken site in South Fremantle. ANI-Bradken ran the foundry which was the most recent industrial use of the site and they are the owners but the site was used between 1899 and 1920 as a lead smelter. As at December 2003 residents were concerned about the proposed clean-up of the site as it is only 30 metres from the sea and as at October 2004, Cockburn City Council was in the process of reviewing reports and an Environmental Impact Assessment submitted by the developer Stockland, and approving its proposed remediation plan. So if you're quick, you might be able to get some soil samples!

Other than BP and Stockland, we don't have any owners/developers of contaminated sites (that we know of) in our database so the other people you should talk to are:

  1. Lee Bell of the Bellevue Action Group, & the Contaminated Sites Alliance, c/o Institute for Sustainability & Technology Policy (ISTP), lbell[at]central.murdoch.edu.au or ph wk 0893606267.
  2. Richard Eddy, Contaminated Sites Alliance / Coalition for the Jandakot Water Mound, reddy[at]iinet.net.au; webmaster[at]waenvironment.com, ph 0894551004.
  3. Jane Bremmer of the Bellevue Action Group & Alliance for a Clean Environment (ACE), see http://ace-wa.org/mr/ACE%20MR%20090131.pdf, ph 0892743109; ACE 0892743109.

Let me know how you go - I'll be very interested in your results and recommendations.

Yours Sincerely
Elizabeth O'Brien

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