Still more on toxins

Yes, we are still going on about toxins because ……..If PoMC was so far under budget, it makes you wonder why they didn’t splash just a little bit of some cash on responding to the calls for testing of Yarra sediments for radionuclides. They keep telling us how much they care about the Bay, and it would have cost only a tiny fraction of the money they “saved”.
 Consider this:
  • Why has the Office of Environmental Monitor been unwilling to test, or direct the PoMC to test Yarra sediments to assess the risk of radioactive contaminants (Thorium and Uranium) which had historically leaked into the Yarra from a research site in Fishermen’s Bend?

  •  Despite this long history of contamination, radionuclides were not classified as a “chemical of concern” during the SEES. Thus radionuclides were not tested for in the Lower Yarra Fish Study
  • Ingestion of Thorium is linked to liver cancer
  • Studies in 2006 by SKM revealed that some contaminants had already spread several kilometres from the then existing dump site. (Bioaccumulation Study and Benthic Fauna surveys Sinclair Knight Merz April and September 2006)
  • There has been no subsequent testing of the seabed around the dump site to prove that the disposal method successfully contained toxins. We are left to speculate what has occurred now that even larger amounts of contaminated material with even higher concentrations of toxicants are dumped in that site.
  • The PoMC’s Environmental Management Plan does not provide for testing for toxins around the dump site to assess if the underwater clay bund is achieving its purpose.

Goomai bucket dredge at work in Yarra May 2008 © Port Phillip BayKeeper
So, if the project has achieved the exemplary environmental standards government claims, and has been “completed” $200 million under budget, why couldn’t PoMC spend the mere $10,000 we know it would cost to assess the risk of radioactive contaminants in Yarra sediments?  (That’s 0.005% of their $200 million savings)     

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