The operation of former gas manufacturing plants has left a legacy of contamination of soil, groundwater and, in several cases, impacted adjoining sites. The Council Gasworks Program was established to assist typically regional councils with the remediation of former gasworks sites for which they are responsible and which present the greatest risk of harm to human health and the environment. Funding assists with investigation and remediation works which mitigate harm from serious contamination.
The Tarcutta Street Gasworks Project below is one example of a successful project funded under the Council Gasworks Remediation Program. This site was cleaned up at a cost of over $12 million, making it one of the most expensive remediation projects ever undertaken by a regional council in NSW.
Tarcutta Street Gasworks, Wagga Wagga
Remediation of contaminated land at Tarcutta Street Gasworks in Wagga Wagga. Photo: EPA
The Tarcutta Street Gasworks operated between 1818 and 1964, and the first attempt at site remediation was in the 1970s. However, over time, tar and other contaminants migrated from the site to a nearby recreational area and into the Murrumbidgee River.
As the impact to the river was unacceptable, the EPA declared the gasworks a remediation site (now known as a Significantly Contaminated Site) in 2007.
The Environmental Trust and the EPA, through the Council Gasworks Program, has provided over $1 million in grants to assist Wagga Wagga City Council with the investigation and clean-up works, which began in 2007.
‘The Tarcutta Street Gasworks is one of the most significant remediation projects ever undertaken by a council in a regional area and I congratulate the council on their investment so far and the commitment they have given to the local community’, said EPA Manager Contaminated Sites Niall Johnston.
The Tarcutta Street site has now been redeveloped and returned for public use.