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December 8, 2014

NSW EPA investigates Cobbora over asbestos storage at mine sites

New South Wales Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is investigating the state-owned Cobbora Holding Company (CHC) over improper asbestos storage at four sites in the state's central-west area.

New South Wales Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is investigating the state-owned Cobbora Holding Company (CHC) over improper asbestos storage at four sites in the state’s central-west area.

Following the demolition of houses on land near Dunedoo owned by CHC, potentially deadly asbestos was found at three out of four of the sites.

CHC was issued a notice by the EPA requiring it to stop moving the material and secure the site where it was being stored. The agency is working with CHC to ensure all asbestos is disposed of safely and appropriately managed.

"Potentially deadly asbestos was found at three out of four of the sites."

EPA regional manager Simon Smith said the agency was notified about the breach at the Spring Ridge Road site following a complaint.

The site was investigated and a clean-up notice was issued to the company on 31 October, ordering it to stop work onsite and immediately undertake safe and secure remediation of the asbestos contaminated waste.

EPA officers inspected the area on 18 and 19 November as a follow-up to the notice and discovered additional asbestos material at sites where the mining company had demolished the buildings.

Upon discovering the deadly material, the agency directed the company to cease all clean-up work at the Spring Ridge Road site as well as the demolition sites until appropriate controls and procedures are put in place.

CHC CEO Richard Outridge said that the company has disposed of the building waste and demolished various derelict buildings for safety reasons.

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