Chandler Salt Mine – Toxic Waste Legacy?

Public Meeting 5.30pm Thursday 2nd November

Andy McNeil Room, Alice Springs Town Council

A public meeting has been called to explore community concerns over the proposal to store hazardous waste permanently at the Tellus Chandler Salt Mine and associated Arpinta facility near Titjikala,120kms south of Alice Springs. The proposed salt mine is planned to double as a permanent hazardous waste storage facility.

Titjikala residents and the Arid Lands Environment Centre will be expressing concerns over the project including:

  • Claims of misleading consultation
  • Types of hazardous waste including fracking waste
  • Long term responsibility of waste management
  • Risk of accidents and spillage
  • Transportation of toxic chemicals on local roads and railway
  • Inadequate regulations to ensure safety and compliance
  • Suitability of the site to host toxic waste forever
  • Possible trojan horse for nuclear waste?

'The Environmental Impact Statement outlines the types, volumes and sources of waste proposed to be stored in the salt. All of the wastes are listed as hazardous under federal environmental laws. Most of it is proposed to come from Eastern Australia but it is also proposed to import hazardous waste from overseas' said ALEC Policy Officer, Alex Read.

'At its peak, the site is proposed to be capable of processing and storing up to 400 000 tonnes of waste per year. That's the equivalent of 120km of shipping containers lined end to end going underground every year'

'A significant unknown of the project is the method of liquid waste storage. Tellus is yet to comprehensively outline the method of liquid storage to be used and the geological suitability of the underground rock to store such waste for indefinite periods of time. We're concerned about salt creep and leakage' added Mr Read.

'ALEC has concerns about the process of community consultation, the public's awareness of the hazardous waste storage component of this proposal and the current capability of the EPA to adequately monitor and ensure compliance of this proposal' said ALEC Director, Jimmy Cocking.

'We're inviting the community to come together and talk about this proposal, understand the risks associated with remote hazardous waste disposal and work out what we want to do about it together' said Mr Cocking. 

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