THE cost to remediate Lake Macquarie City Council’s quarries, landfills and sanitary depots has skyrocketed from $16million to $36million in a year.
The council has been listing these sites as requiring remediation for years but the clean-up has not been done.
In 2006, the council estimated the remediation costs at $11.3million.
The Total Environment Centre slammed the council for inaction on polluted sites.
Centre director Jeff Angel accused the council of being irresponsible.
‘‘The longer they wait, the more expensive it becomes,’’ Mr Angel said. ‘‘These sites are an ongoing source of pollution and ugliness.’’
Mr Angel said the NSW Environment Protection Authority should ‘‘get cracking and force the council to act’’.
Asked if the work would ever be done, the council said it had plans to ‘‘progressively remediate the highest priority sites over the next 10 years’’.
‘‘Planning work for sites at Glendale, Redhead and Belmont is progressing well,’’ a council statement said. ‘‘This includes geotechnical investigations, environmental assessments, remediation action plans and civil design work.’’
The council said it was ‘‘progressively assessing the contamination of each site’’.
‘‘Some sites have been found to be contaminated,’’ it said.
The council had ‘‘reassessed its remediation obligations’’.
‘‘Applying contemporary techniques and controls to the remediation has led to a rise in estimated costs,’’ it said.
The council had done investigations and planning at a number of the sites.
A council report said regulatory changes in recent years had led to more requirements and an escalation in costs.
‘‘A large proportion of the estimated expenditure is expected to be funded from council’s construction and maintenance programs, due to the use of construction waste material in the rehabilitation,’’ the report said.
The council was ‘‘required by law’’ to restore the sites and meet standards, which various authorities set.
Of the 27 sites requiring remediation in Lake Macquarie, an EPA spokeswoman said only one had been reported to it.
An EPA statement said anyone whose activities contaminated land and owners who knew their land was contaminated must notify the EPA, under certain criteria.
‘‘Contaminated sites not regulated by the EPA are managed by local councils through land-use planning processes,’’ it said.
Landfills: Awaba, Redhead, Speers Point, Belmont, Catherine Hill Bay, Marks Point, Cooranbong, Wyee, Toronto, West Wallsend, Dora Creek, Rathmines, Bonnells Bay, Cardiff, Valentine.
Quarries: Glendale, Redhead, Belmont, Mirrabooka, Bolton Point, Swansea, Windale, Dora Creek, Rathmines, Awaba.
Sanitary depots: Teralba, Wyee