As­bestos clean up in park

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Heather McCracken

BURIED AS­BESTOS has been dis­cov­ered in a Grey Lynn park, spark­ing a three­week clean-up.

Work be­gins on Mon­day to re­move the as­bestos-based roof­ing ma­te­rial found in Arch Hill Re­serve dur­ing a walk­way up­grade in Novem­ber.

Auck­land City Coun­cil ur­ban soils re­view project man­ager Mar­cus Herrmann says it’s thought the ma­te­rial was dumped il­le­gally some decades ago.

“We don’t have any ev­i­dence of when it was dumped but we un­der­stand that the type of roof­ing was used in the 50s and 60s,” he says.

“We’re deal­ing with a his­tor­i­cal il­le­gal dump­ing is­sue and the fo­cus is on clean­ing it up rather than try­ing to as­sign li­a­bil­ity.”

The con­tam­i­na­tion was dis­cov­ered at the west­ern end of the park on a steep slope be­low the Grey Lynn li­brary.

Once found, the area was fenced off and cov­ered with a se­cure bar­rier mat­ting.

The mat­ting has been checked twice daily and air mon­i­tor­ing has shown no sign the fi­bres have es­caped.

Staff from the li­brary and nearby St Joseph’s School were in­formed but were not at any risk, the coun­cil says.

Clean-up was de­layed while en­gi­neers looked for a way to re­move the 30 cu­bic me­tres of con­tam­i­nated soil with­out caus­ing a slip on the steep slope.

A spe­cialised re­tain­ing bar­rier will be an­chored over the up­per slope dur­ing the work, which will be post­poned in heavy rain or strong wind.

Once the de­con­tam­i­na­tion work has been done, the slope will be land­scaped with na­tive plants.

Dur­ing the work walk­ways will be closed to the pub­lic from 9am to 3pm on week­days and 8am to 5pm on Satur­days.

The work will not af­fect moun­tain bike trails which are planned for a dif­fer­ent sec­tion of the five-hectare park.

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