WILLUNGA HILL – Bags containing 160kg of asbestos-contaminated material have been found illegally dumped at the rest stop on the down track at Willunga Hill.
It is the second asbestos-related dumping discovery in the region in a month, with 900kg found at Mosquito Hill on May 24.
The eight bags found in bushes at Willunga Hill were filled with broken asbestos telecommunication pits and soil from the pit removal sites.
They were packaged identically to the bags found in May: in plastic bags, sealed with grey adhesive tape, and labelled ‘asbestos waste’.
The bags were taken to an accredited asbestos landfill for examination and disposal, and the site was cleared of further material.
The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) believes the material was dumped at Willunga Hill between Saturday, June 10 and Tuesday, June 27, and is urging anyone with information about how it got there to come forward.
EPA investigations and tactical support manager Stephen Barry said it appeared a professional asbestos removalist was involved, due to the way the bags were packed.
“The distinctive bagging and sealing method is often used in the process of removing asbestos telecommunication pits and we are working with the industry in an attempt to identify the person or persons responsible,” Mr Barry said.
“Asbestos is an extremely dangerous material particularly if asbestos dust and fibres are inhaled or handled incorrectly.
“To carelessly dump this material in a public area not only creates an environmental hazard but also poses a significant health risk.”
He urged anyone with information to come forward so the EPA could catch the culprit.
“Someone is being paid to transport and dispose of this material, and all contractors should ask for receipts to ensure that the material is received at licensed landfills,” he said.
The EPA can be contacted 24 hours on 8204 2004 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The maximum penalty for illegally dumping waste is a fine of up to $120,000 and up to two years in prison, with harsher penalties if environment is harmed or if corporations are involved.