INVESTIGATION: Residents have reported an alleged pollution incident near a construction site in Coffs Harbour.
INVESTIGATION: Residents have reported an alleged pollution incident near a construction site in Coffs Harbour. David Barwell

Council to investigate reports of pollution

COFFS Harbour City Council has launched an investigation into an alleged pollution incident involving the development of a new service station in north Coffs Harbour.

Construction workers reportedly emptied liquids from tanks into Fern Tree Creek on July 15, prompting environmental concerns from nearby residents.

The incident occurred as a bush regeneration team was planting vegetation by the creek which they said "appeared burnt" several days later.

Raising the issue at last Thursday's council meeting, Deputy Mayor Sally Townley called for "an urgent investigation" after receiving calls from residents.

Cr Townley questioned if developers were complying with the conditions of their development application, which had come under the scrutiny of the council last year.

A resolution on December 18 last year stated all discharge water from tanks should be directed to a reticulated system and that no contamination should be allowed to enter the creek.

The development is less than 30 metres away from the creek which connects to Solitary Islands Marine Park.

A spokeswoman from Viva Energy, which is building the Shell-branded Coles Express service station, said no hydrocarbons were present in the discharged water

"We are confident the fresh water used to anchor the underground storage tanks during construction is being discharged appropriately - firstly through an onsite filtration system before being discharged into stormwater drains," the spokeswoman said.

Coffs Harbour City Council's director of sustainable development, Chris Chapman, will investigate the matter.



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