CASE STUDY OF CONTAMINATED SOIL
AN ASBESTOS CASE STUDY - FLAT BUSH, MANUKAU CITY, SOUTH AUCKLAND, NEWZEALAND.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Flat Bush Asbestos Site Location
EVALUATION OF ASBESTOS EXTENT AND ITS IMPACTS
Remediation Options and Regulations
FACTS ABOUT ASBESTOS
Nature of Asbestos
Asbestos in Environment
Exposure to Lead
Harmful Health Effects from Asbestos Exposure
REVIEW OF ADOPTED REMEDIATION METHOD
Overview of Asbestos Remediation
Final View on Adopted Remediation at Flat Bush Site
In November 1997, housing developers began excavating a subdivision in Flat Bush, about 3km north-east of Manukau City. These works stopped abruptly when large quantities of fibre board and other cement-based building products were unearthed. All of these products were found to contain asbestos, and similar finds were made at five occupied properties nearby. 2.2
Flat Bush Asbestos Site Location
Flat Bush is situated in the Otara Ward 4 of Manukau City, approximately 30 kilometres south of Auckland’s Central Business District, and approximately 3 kilometres north-east of Manukau City Centre. Flat Bush, is a medium to low cost dormitory area including rental, state housing and private properties.
Asbestos products have been imported into New Zealand since the early 20th century. But the problem at Flat Bush was traced back to first asbestos plant, which from 1938 to the 1970s, manufactured certain asbestos products (cement building materials such as fibre board) on a limited scale, and distributed asbestos waste to farms in the Flat Bush area. Private contractors began delivering asbestos off-cuts from James Hardie’s Penrose factory to many farms throughout South Auckland. Many farmers used it as a multi-purpose landfill for gullies, the making of dams and for improving the drainage of boggy land, in addition to the making of driveways. Asbestos piping was also crushed for use on farm roads, while some drivers were delivering up to fifteen bags of pure blue asbestos (the most toxic) to farmers every month. In the late 1970’s, James Hardie stopped production of asbestos products. However, by this time, many truck drivers had already delivered thousands of tonnes of asbestos throughout the Auckland area. The lethal effects of asbestos became known in 1975. In November 1997, housing developers, while excavating, uncovered the toxic contaminant in the soil, initially found at the 25 Hilltop Road subdivision but centred around five heavily contaminated properties on Rakaia Rise. The residents complained that they were not warned of the contamination when they brought their properties. They protested that their health and that of their children could be at long-term risk. Residents’ actions groups were established to lobby local politicians and the national media.
2 EVALUATION OF ASBESTOS EXTENT AND ITS IMPACTS
An inquiry followed to investigate how the asbestos was dumped in the East Tamaki-Flat Bush area, establish the council’s responsibilities and suggest remedies. In 2001, the Government issued a report from the local government and environment select committee. Amongst other things, the committee report recommends that the Manukau City Council undertake the following: * offer help to Flat Bush property owners wanting their properties tested for asbestos contamination, * remove the asbestos contaminating the Rakaia Rise properties as long as it can be done without releasing further fibres into the air, * undertake the same sort of remedial work it would expect of any future developer, and * include restrictions or conditions to regulate and control any excavation on contaminated...
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