Byron Shire Council has discovered asbestos in a small area to the south of the Butler Street drain. They say it poses no immediate danger to the public.
Byron Shire Council has discovered asbestos in a small area to the south of the Butler Street drain. They say it poses no immediate danger to the public. Contributed Google Maps

Asbestos discovered near rail corridor

ASBESTOS has been discovered in a small area near the Byron Bay Rail corridor.

Byron Shire Council said the area poses no immediate health risk to the public.

From the week starting November 26 the council will be cleaning up the contaminated section.

The small area of contamination sits between Butler Street and the disused railway line slightly south of the Butler Street drain.

The contamination was discovered when the council was undertaking due diligence prior to securing a licence with Transport for NSW over the rail corridor.

Phil Holloway, director Infrastructure Services, said that as part of the preliminary assessment of the site a small area of soil that was contaminated with asbestos was discovered.

"It's important that the community knows that this contamination is isolated and is currently beneath the surface of the soil and does not pose an immediate health risk, however when we were granted the licence in February 2018, one of our priorities was to clean up the area up as soon as possible," Mr Holloway said.

"Independent consultants were engaged to test the site for contamination and an Asbestos Management Plan has been developed as a result of the findings.

"We have engaged fully licenced experienced contractors to physically remove the asbestos under the direction of an expert land contamination consultant, and the project area will be completely fenced off and controlled during the works.

"There are strict laws and guidelines for the removal of asbestos and I assure the public that there will be no threat to public health during the remediation process," he said.

Neighbours in the vicinity of the contaminated area are being directly informed of the remediation process which is expected to take approximately one week to complete.

Once the contamination has been removed, the council will be looking at formalising the informal crossing of the rail corridor from the Butler Street Reserve to the town centre.



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