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Funding granted for site investigation at Ocean Beach, Bluff

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Tenders will close on Friday (11 October) for work to carry out an investigation into the extent of asbestos contamination at a beach area near Ocean Beach at Bluff.

Environment Southland will lead the project, which has been granted 50% funding of the estimated $100,000 cost from the Ministry for the Environment’s Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund. Additional costs will be met by the landowners, including Department of Conservation and Invercargill City Council.

Environment Southland senior pollution prevention officer Leonie Grace said the presence of asbestos was notified in early 2018 and an initial site inspection was completed and signs erected advising the public of the risk.

An application to the remediation fund was successfully made and tenders for a suitably qualified company are now being called for.

The initial project will include an investigation of the site and assessment of remedial options. A cultural impact assessment and heritage impact assessment will also be completed.

Leonie said provision of the funding assistance is great, as it allows the investigation to be completed promptly and options for managing the asbestos to be assessed.

"Firstly we just need more information, we need to understand the extent of the asbestos, the risk to the environment and the public, as well as what the options are - which may include everything from removing it through to containing it in some way."

It is hoped work will be underway before the end of the year.

Public safety will be paramount during the work and at times there may be some restrictions on access to the area. There will be notifications of any restrictions as early as possible.

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