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EPA faces the challenge of cleaning up Alcoa’s abandoned Point Henry Smelter

  1. 2,881 Posts.
    Found this the other day, EPA and Alcoa still working out details on the clean up at Pt Henry, Alcoa has a very big job at Pt Henry, not sure if MHM could get some work regarding the clean up at at Pt Henry.

    The environmental guardians of Victoria are up for a challenge with a massive rehabilitation project for the defunct Point Henry smelter looming close which will test their ability to deal with the daunting task.

    The Environment Protection Authority has faced a lot of flack lately as the current laws are not upgraded to deal with modern-day issues and a review is necessary to assess their power and legislation, said Lisa Neville, Victorian Environment Minister.

    The Point Henry aluminium smelter, which closed down last year, has left a vast area of abandonment and waste in its wake. The total area owned by Alcoa in the premises is 575 hectare of which 500 hectares lie outside the plant perimeter.

    Ms Neville believes that Alcoa would be footing the expensive clean-up bill saying "At the moment I don't have any sense Alcoa aren't going to do the right thing."

    No timeline has been set for the complete decommissioning of the area given the size and complexity of the project although small starts have been initiated. Among other things, recovering, recycling and selling scrap materials from inside the plant and rolling mill will be part of the clean-up, along with various measures for cleaning up waste, contaminated soil, sediment, surface water and groundwater from the site.

    There would also be a community discussion regarding the future of the land once the clean-up task is completed.
    Although Ms Neville ordered the review, she still is positive about the institution and stated a broader review of EPA will commence in March, headed by two people independent of the government.

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