About the project
The NSW Government has stepped in to resolve the long-term environmental issues at the former Truegain waste oil processing site at Rutherford after compulsorily acquiring the land from its bankrupted former owner who failed to clean up the site.
Property and Development NSW’s (PDNSW) Environmental Service Group (ESG) is managing the clean-up of the property due to its expertise in remediating contaminated land.
ESG aims to ensure the soil and groundwater surrounding the site is clean and doesn’t pose any community or environmental risks.
Stage one remediation works, involving the removal of all above-ground infrastructure and the disposal of waste which had been stored on site, has been completed.
More than 11,000 tonnes of industrial wastewater, toxic oil, grease and sludge waste, as well as 135 steel containment tanks have been treated and removed from the site as part of the stage-one works.
ESG and the NSW Environment Protection Authority (NSW EPA) will continue to work together throughout the clean-up and remediation of the site to return it to a safe condition fit for its industrial zoning.
Truegain operated a waste oil processing facility at the site from the late 1990s. In 2016, Hunter Water Corporation suspended Truegain’s trade waste permit and Truegain went into liquidation.
The site was abandoned, with many tanks and storage containers left on site containing large volumes of waste oil or processing by-products. Some included low concentrations of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
The NSW EPA issued several penalty and clean-up notices in relation to the site and brought debt recovery proceedings against the former owner to recover the costs incurred in cleaning up the site. In December 2021 the former owner was ordered to pay $1.2 million towards the EPA’s costs.
When Truegain’s owner failed to comply with these notices, ESG was appointed to manage stormwater and remediate the site to prevent pollution.
Investigations to determine the extent of soil contamination and surface water quality at the site and in nearby Stony Creek have started.
A detailed remediation action plan (RAP) for stage two of the works, which may involve soil and groundwater remediation, will be prepared once these investigations are completed.
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