Munmorah Power Station did not require development consent when it was constructed in the 1960s but its land owners now need development approval to remediate contamination on the site.
They expect the site will soon be declared significantly contaminated land under the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997.
A development proposal now on public exhibition outlines the “legacy” contamination.
The legacy contamination includes PFAS (Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances) impacts in groundwater associated with a former firefighting training area on the site as well as hydrocarbon impacts associated with the former power station.
The Munmorah Power Station was originally constructed in the 1960s and operated until 2010, with 2 units remaining on standby until 2012.
In October 2016, the ownership of the site was transferred from Delta Electricity to GPM, a NSW Government owned company.
Demolition of the main power station buildings and redundant infrastructure occurred from 2016 to 2018.
GPM has, for a number of years, been working with NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to manage and address legacy contamination issues relating to the power station and the former firefighting training area.
That training area transferred from Delta Electricity to Snowy Hydro, the owners of the adjoining Colongra Power Station and then to GPM..
The ongoing management of the legacy contamination is regulated by the Environment Protection authority under a Environment Protection Licence (EPL) held by GPM.
The EPL includes a condition requiring the preparation and submission of a Remedial Action Plan (RAP) that details actions, time frames and costs to remediate the groundwater contamination plumes identified at the premises.
The RAP has been prepared and submitted to the EPA and GPM is currently engaging further with the EPA in relation to the remediation works proposed by the RAP, according to a development application to council.
“GPM currently anticipates that the EPA will declare the site to be significantly contaminated land under the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997 (NSW) (CLM Act) and proposes to seek the EPA’s approval of a Voluntary Management Proposal to remediate the legacy contamination,” the report states.
“A separate development application will be lodged for the soil and other remediation works proposed once the remedial works and Voluntary Management Proposal have been finalised in consultation with the EPA.”
In the meantime, GPM proposes to install a water treatment plant (WTP) to enable the treatment of the PFAS impacted water.
The report says the water is currently entering legacy underground and water management structures in advance of finalisation of the remediation works.
“The WTP will operate until remediation of the site (which will be regulated under a separate development application yet to be lodged) has been completed,” the application states.
It is anticipated that this would take a minimum of 10 years.
The application is on public exhibition for comment until September 22.