Dan Mahoney Reserve, North Parramatta
Environmental Testing Report
To plan for the ongoing safe management of Dan Mahoney Reserve, including future maintenance works, City of Parramatta Council commissioned highly-qualified, independent consultants to conduct environmental testing.
Testing was performed in September and October 2018.
Given Dan Mahoney Reserve’s history as a landfill site, consultants were to provide information on the type and quantities of any potentially hazardous materials, including asbestos, that may be present in the landfill beneath the park.
The consultant’s report confirms Dan Mahoney Reserve is safe for use provided that adequate grass coverage or a physical barrier between the landfill and the surface of the reserve (a capping layer) is maintained.
Air quality monitoring confirmed no airborne asbestos was present during the testing period. Asbestos fibres are only a health risk if they are released into the air and can be inhaled. This is what is known as an “exposure pathway”.
Laboratory analysis of the soil taken from the 45 bore holes dug during testing showed Dan Mahoney Reserve does not contain heavy metal contaminants in excess of the applicable health investigation levels.
Asbestos materials (such as small pieces of fibro similar to material found in many homes) was found in the soil beneath the reserve.
These results mean Council is undertaking interim works to improve capping layers and will need to plan for longer term treatment or remediation.
Council sought advice from its environmental consultants, the EPA and NSW Health, and will continue to consult with these agencies as treatment options are considered and implemented.
Council staff and contractors are undertaking regular inspections to monitor the condition of Dan Mahoney Reserve.
Council is taking immediate action to improve capping layers in the short term, and is seeking advice from specialists to secure the most appropriate permanent treatment of the site.
Current temporary fencing will remain in place in order to prevent public access – helping to encourage grass growth and restore coverage.
Alternative capping will be investigated for areas where grass coverage is sparse.
In the next few weeks, works including mulching, re-turfing and the use of erosion control products will take place at Dan Mahoney Reserve.
Council may also extend or install additional hard surfaces including paved or concrete areas as required.
City of Parramatta will continue to provide the community with information on its management plan for Dan Mahoney Reserve and will update on further works, likely to take place later this year.
Council will continue to seek advice from specialists to secure the most appropriate long-term treatment for the site and will continue to work in consultation with the Heads of Asbestos Coordination Authorities (HACA) including the EPA, SafeWork NSW and NSW Health to ensure Dan Mahoney Reserve remains safe.