Holt service station remediation works after fuel leak to begin

The ACT government has lodged plans to remediate the site of a Belconnen petrol station where thousands of litres of petrol leaked from an underground fuel tank.

An application, lodged at the end of July, has been made to remediate the site of a Caltex service station in Holt, where 80,000 litres spilled from a corroded tank between December 2019 and February 2020.

The proposal aims to develop a temporary facility to extract and treat contaminated groundwater at the site, as well as replace the faulty petrol tank.

“A contamination management plan has been developed and provides a method for treating and cleaning up the groundwater contamination,” documents for the remediation works said.

“Plans will require endorsement from an independent Environment Protection Authority approved auditor.”

As of July 31, 2020, more than 23,000 litres of petrol and more than 143,000 litres of contaminated groundwater were recovered at the site, which is now operating as an Ampol service station.

In June, Ampol agreed to pay environmental groups $200,000 following on from the fuel leak, after an enforceable undertaking by the ACT Environment Protection Authority.

The enforceable undertaking for the payments to the environmental groups was made as an alternative to prosecution, which the authority at the time said was a direct benefit to the community.

The undertaking said when it was issued that Ampol was committed to improving procedures to avoid future leaks.

“Ampol regrets the occurrence of the incident and acknowledges the authority’s legitimate concerns in relation to the incident,” the undertaking said.

The payment was spilt between the Ginninderry Conservation Trust, which received $150,000, and the Ginninderra Catchment Group, which was handed $50,000.

The conservation trust will use their funds for a riparian education and training program, along with a farm dam restoration project.

Meanwhile, the catchment group will allocate their $50,000 towards community engagement work in the area.

The trust’s chief executive Dr Jason Cummings said work was still ongoing as to how the projects would be conducted.

Documents for the remediation works at the service station said they were unlikely to cause significant environmental impacts on the area.

The authority has already issued an environment protection order to the owners of the service station, issuing a requirement for the Ampol to undertake an environmental audit of the area.

A previous audit, conducted after the leak was discovered, cleared the service station for continued use, with strategies in place.

Extracted from The Canberra Times

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