Article courtesy of Kristie Lim | May 17th, 2016 | Eastern Reporter Community | Shared as educational material.
A resident had been left surprised–in a bad way–after finding toxic fertilizer waste on private land. After initial investigations, it was indicated that the site is owned by a company called Ridgepoynt. The waste pile is located specifically in Tonkin Park, where there were over two hundred fifty thousand cubic meters of the poisonous pileup. The crisis is occurring in the context of the decision that the Bassendean Council had taken earlier. The had decided to demolish a fertilizer plant and stockpile the waste instead of doing the normal actions of putting the toxic waste into an appropriate landfill. As it happens, this toxic material poses a hazard to Swan Lake, a water source that is pretty close to Tonkin Park. Fertilizer is a major source of nitrogen, one of the necessary ingredients for the eutrophication of a lake. The addition of nitrogen and other such nutrients can easily have a health effect on the biotic factors that exist in Swan Lake. Already, officials claim that the groundwater and nearest water catchment area are contaminated with nearly three hundred to five hundred thousand tons of contaminated material.
The presence of the toxic waste is obviously going to cause a deleterious amount of soil pollution. Experts claim that the soil pollution could spread its harms to the groundwater below it and even to Swan River, suggesting rather long term effects of this unfortunate decision. There is the possibility that this could tumble into a public health crisis in the near future. There are now claims from the EPA that suggest that the Bassendean Council ignored the containment cells and legal restrictions of using sites as contaminant “storages”. Read more about the issue and its possible consequences on the are here.