No solution to benzene pollution

CORAMBA still has no solution to the benzene pollution that lies under at least 30 houses in the town and continues to seep into the river, but work is inching ahead on several fronts.

A draft environmental impact statement for a large-scale air sparging system on the riverbank at Coramba is expected to be completed within a few weeks.

November 13 will also see the next meeting of the inter-agency working group looking at Coramba's benzene pollution problem.

This meeting is expected to hear results from the air quality monitoring carried out in Coramba earlier this year.

The working group has not met since July and at that meeting members of the group were told that two of the six canisters were still to be returned and the machine analysing the testing canisters had broken down.

A public relations spokeswoman for Coffs Harbour City Council said an EIS had to be completed before a full-scale air sparging system could be installed.

She said access to Peter and Belinda Attwill's property in Martin Lane had been needed to complete the process but the Attwills had not been keen on this.

She said the draft EIS was now almost complete using a different approach and the document would soon go to the NSW Department of Planning for approval.

Peter Attwill is suffering from stress and anxiety as a result of trying to solve the problem which has left his family with a home they cannot sell.

On February 6, Gadens Lawyers will return to the Supreme Court in Sydney on behalf of Mr and Mrs Attwill.

The couple is seeking compensation for the loss of use and enjoyment of their property from the owners of the Coramba Service Station, which is alleged to be the source of the leak and from Coffs Harbour City Council, which is responsible for some of the land which the leaking fuel has spread across.

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