A CRUCIAL lifeline has been thrown to the community of Woolomin with the announcement of $360,000 in funding to start cleaning up the town’s bore water contamination.
In February, Tamworth Regional Council (TRC) confirmed at least 400 litres of petrol had leaked into the town’s bore water supply.
At the time, TRC estimated the clean-up from the spill could drag into 2017.
The spill originated from an underground tank at the Woolomin General Store.
On Tuesday afternoon, Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson announced $360,000 had been allocated to undertake remediation works associated with the petrol leak.
Mr Anderson said the rainfall in recent months had “raised contamination levels” in the affected area, prompting more immediate action.
“I was deeply concerned it could leach down, or get close, to the Peel River,” he told The Leader.
In February, the EPA provided $116,000 to TRC for an “emergency clean-up” funding to address immediate environmental concerns.
Mr Anderson said the new funding and support followed on from a meeting with NSW Environment Minister, Mark Speakman. He also hoped the work would secure the local store’s future.
“The cost of cleaning up contamination from an underground fuel leak can, at times, run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, which could potentially put an end to Woolomin’s only store, which is why I asked the minister for his assistance,” Mr Anderson said.
[It] could potentially put an end to Woolomin’s only store, which is why I asked the minister for his assistance- Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson
“In certain circumstances, such an expensive clean-up bill can be beyond the means of many small businesses and councils, so I sincerely thank Minister Speakman for supporting me and the town of Woolomin.”
The news comes nearly three weeks after the revelation of a uranium contamination in groundwater at Moonbi-Kootingal. Residents are still awaiting the findings from NSW Health on the potential impact.