Petrol the cause of pollution at Christmas Cove

Environmental consultants have confirmed the pollution at Christmas Cove is “young” petrol but its source remains unknown.

The leakage has again been confirmed as a distilled light petroleum product, or petrol, and that is young in age. It is not old diesel or an old oil heating source.

Kangaroo Island Council continues its investigation into hydrocarbon pollution at Christmas Cove, Penneshaw.

The pollution consists of hydrocarbon odours and hydrocarbon-impacted groundwater seeping from soils from the eastern side of Christmas Cove in Penneshaw.

A report from environmental consultants Tierra Consulting was received by the KI Council administration last week.

Tierra were engaged to undertake a preliminary site inspection and collect samples to provide an indicative assessment of the type of chemicals and approximate concentrations.

Tierra inspected the outflow location, the outflow gradient, took soil and groundwater samples, did a geology assessment at the outflow location, and conducted interviews with long-term residents.

Tierra Consulting recommends that the next step is to undertake a preliminary site investigation and a preliminary conceptual site model.

Kangaroo Island Council CEO Andrew Boardman said Tierra was preparing a scope and costing for these activities for the council’s consideration. 

“This report hasn’t revealed anything we didn’t already know however it has provided additional confirmation of the type of contamination and we will end up with a scope of activities to identify exactly where this is coming from,” Mr Boardman said.

Mayor Peter Clements said he was confident that Kangaroo Island Council had followed all the directions required from the SA Environment Protection Authority.

The council would continue to follow this direction, which is entirely within the jurisdiction of the EPA, he said.

“When and if the source of the contamination is found, Kangaroo Island Council will pursue, to the highest level, the entity or person responsible for the transmittal of the substance into the ground,” Mr Clements said.

“There is every chance of course that the contamination is a result of accidental discharge or leakage from an unknown source and all fairness will be used in any final determination.”


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