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Asbestos discovered at PCYC, South Windsor

Mar 1, 2024

Asbestos has been discovered at the PCYC Hawkesbury Youth Centre at South Windsor, as the list of locations that have received mulch potentially contaminated with friable asbestos grows.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  confirmed asbestos was found at the PCYC this week. No further details, including how it got there, are available however it adds to the growing list of sites across the state where asbestos has been found in contaminated soil and mulch. 

Locally, the EPA has already confirmed asbestos has been found at St.John of God Hospital in North Richmond, Woolworths in Kellyville, and a Transport for NSW park in Wiley Park and Riverstone Sports Centre. Several schools, including Penrith Christian School in Orchard Hills and St Luke’s Catholic College in Marsden Park, also tested positive after they were identified as having received mulch from the same contaminated source.

Last week the EPA said it was following up on a second supplier that may have provided asbestos contaminated mulch to at least two sites in western Sydney, Cranebrook High School and Mont Saint Quentin Oval in Bardia. To date only one company Greenlife Resource Recovery has been directly implicated by the EPA in the crisis which has seen friable and non-friable asbestos found in mulch. 

The full list of sites which have tested positive can be found here: https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/working-together/community-engagement/updates-on-issues/rozelle-parkland-asbestos-investigation/sites-being-investigated-for-asbestos-in-mulch-and-results

NSW EPA Chief Executive Tony Chappel has said the investigation is exploring multiple lines of inquiry, including the possibility of foul play or criminal conduct. “We are looking at multiple lines of inquiry absolutely, including allegations of foul play or criminal conduct,” he said.

The NSW government announced the establishment of an Asbestos Taskforce, along with an increased workforce of public servants, including firefighters, to support the EPA in its investigation. The EPA said the government’s primary focus is on “contact tracing” along the complex supply chain and ensuring prompt testing, reporting, and management of any positive results.

The EPA has advised all landowners to implement measures to prevent public access and commence the removal of contaminated mulch. Regular updates on positive sites will be provided on the EPA website, and individuals with concerns about mulch are encouraged to contact the EPA Environment Line on 131 555 or at info@epa.nsw.gov.au

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