Illegal dumping of fuel and oil threatens Rockingham groundwater

Sound Telegraph

Pollution specialists were called to a site in Rockingham after four 1000-litre containers were dumped in bushland last month, with fuel leaking into the dirt and threatening to contaminate groundwater.

The Department of Environment Regulation this week responded to a report of the industrial containers being abandoned in bushland near Chesterfield Road in East Rockingham.

The Pollution Response Team was called into action and found that hundreds of a liquid that was a mixture of oil and fuel had leaked into the ground.

DER’s executive director of compliance and enforcement Stuart Cowie speculated that a commercial automotive business may be behind the dumping given the liquid was a mix of oil and fuel.

“At this stage, we believe several hundred litres of the substance has leaked into the ground from the containers, which it appears were dumped between April 15 and 22,” he said.

“When liquids like these are dumped, they can soak into the soil and contaminate groundwater.

“We are now working to appropriately dispose of the containers, with specialist contractors excavating and removing all impacted soil.”

Mr Cowie said investigators from the Department’s Illegal Dumping Program, which conducts about 200 investigations annually, were seeking witnesses to help identify those responsible for the dumping.

“The investigation will determine whether any environmental harm was caused and attempt to identify those responsible,” he said.

Anyone with information should contact the 24-hour Pollution Watch Hotline on 1300 784 782 or pollutionwatch@der.wa.gov.au.

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