Water samples on a creek in Molendinar have found it’s been contaminated, following a massive industrial fire nearby.
A scrap metal business went up in flames last Monday which resulted in oils and heavy metals leaking into the creek.
Following investigations, environmental impacts were found within the immediate 600-metre stretch of the creek, downstream of the site.
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The Department of Environment and Science (DES) has now issued a clean-up notice to a Gold Coast-based waste management operator.
DES Acting Compliance Delivery Manager Yvette Morgan said the matter is taken very seriously, with water samples being taken as far as 1.6km downstream of the industrial site.
“Oils and heavy metals that are likely to be in the firewater have the potential to impact the waterways over a considerable distance which is why we have looked much further downstream than the immediate obvious area of impact,” Ms Morgan said.
“This is why we take action to prevent contaminants from entering sensitive environments as a first priority.”
Additional samples have been taken, with results to be finalised in the coming weeks which will show the level of impact the contaminants have had.
Failure to comply with a clean-up notice is a serious offence with potential penalties in excess of $4 million for wilful contravention.
If required, DES can also take action to clean up and issue a cost recovery notice.