ON-SITE NEWS – July 2019 Update

July 18th, 2019

Download the July Newsletter with attachments


CSIRO has engaged the services of Enviropacific Services (EPS), a specialist infrastructure services company providing environmental remediation capabilities, to carry out the vapour extraction works at our Belmont site. EPS are currently establishing their work areas on site to commence the excavation and aeration of soil to remove chlorinated hydrocarbons (dry cleaning fluid) identified in the soil in a specific area on the eastern end of site (nearer to the Princes Highway).

The removal of dry cleaning fluid through vapour extraction (aeration) requires an area of approximately 30m x 30m to be dug out to a depth of approximately 11m. Whilst the excavation site is approximately 40m away from south fence line, there will be some site set up works that will require crane and machinery operations nearer to the south fence line, for a short period of time. The attached illustrations provide further information about site activities.

During the preliminary works to establish the site, a quantity of small fibro pieces (cement bonded asbestos possibly from old fibro cement sheet used in buildings) has been discovered in and around the planned excavation. These finds are unexpected.

The asbestos contaminated soil must be removed from site in accordance with the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and Worksafe guidelines. To ensure that the work area is safe and clear of further asbestos contamination, some test pits will be dug within the work site to determine if the surrounding soil is free of asbestos.


The test pit work will commence on Wednesday 17 July 2019. During this work, you may notice contractors wearing protective clothing such as disposable overalls and dust masks or respirators to protect them from possible asbestos fibres within the soil. During this work, air quality monitoring will be provided at the boundaries of the works area to confirm no asbestos fibres are airborne. In addition, dust suppression will be used (watering of soil) to control dust. This is similar to the treatments provided in our previous demolition works.

Any asbestos contaminated soil will be stockpiled separately from the chlorinated hydrocarbon stockpiles. Asbestos contaminated material will be temporarily stockpiled towards the Reynolds Road end of site until it is trucked off site via Henry Street, by an appropriately licenced contractor to a registered waste centre. The material will be wrapped/covered to prevent disbursement during transport, in accordance with EPA requirements. The transportation off site will take place over several weeks.


When the test pit works and any subsequent stockpile/removal of asbestos contaminated soil has been completed, EPS will commence the demolition of existing concrete slabs and the vapour extraction excavation.

Please note that the removal of the concrete slabs, in a couple of weeks’ time (depending on above works and weather) will require jack hammering and take approximately 3 to 4 days of intermittent noise. This will only be done during daylight hours. The first day of jack hammering will be fairly constant.

A “tent” will be erected on site as part of the processing activities for vapour extraction works. The chlorinated hydrocarbon contaminated soils will be processed in this tent to control odour, prior to being stockpiled.


The stockpiling and extraction processes will be similar to the Pilot Trial conducted last year. This work will commence in the next month or so. The hydrocarbon contaminated soil will be stockpiled in rows, commencing approximately 10m away from the south boundary. Stockpiles will be approximately 2m high and 150m long, with the stockpiles running in an east west direction.

The stockpile construction process will take approximately 5 weeks. Extraction and filtering to remove chlorinated hydrocarbons from the stockpiled soil will then take place over approximately 16 weeks. During the processing, stockpiling and extraction periods, the environment will be monitored for hydrocarbons. The extraction system will be surrounded by noise reduction materials, such as hay bales, to minimise disruption to neighbours. Stockpiled materials around the site will be covered to control any water ingress, loss of soil and dust being windblown.


All site works will be undertaken during Monday to Friday working hours of 7am to 5pm. The works will be overseen by environmental consultants, Jacobs. Weekend work is not anticipated.

When the chlorinated hydrocarbon level has been reduced to a satisfactory level, the material will be replaced into the excavation hole and compacted. We anticipate the work to be completed by January 2020.


CSIRO is committed to ensuring the safety of our workers and the local community and will carry out the project in line with current regulations and WorkSafe Victoria requirements.

CSIRO will continue to maintain the grounds and verge by ensuring the grass is regularly cut and boundary trees are kept in good order. The fence around the property preventing unauthorised access to site will remain until the completion of the works.


CSIRO will provide further community updates during the work. These updates will be issued every couple of months and will be updated on our community website https://wp.csiro.au/belmontworks/

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us on 1300 363 400 (9am-5pm Monday – Friday), or email us at: csiroenquiries@csiro.au

Download the July Newsletter with attachments