The council’s administration has been shocked at the intervention of the Environmental Protection Authority in the multi-million-dollar sport hub project at Memorial Oval.
On Friday, two EPA staff visited the site to raise concerns. This was followed by continued operations by water trucks being rolled out to dampen dust around the oval.
Port Pirie Regional Council chief executive officer Andrew Johnson could not be contacted, but he is thought to be deeply concerned that the EPA took action against a project that is so strongly backed by residents.
Acting operations director with the EPA Stephen Barry said the agency had a complaint last week regarding dust from the redevelopment which is being managed by council.
“The inspectors were satisfied with actions being taken by council to minimise further impacts on the community,” he said. “Council’s dust management plan for the site will include installing screening, using water carts to dampen soil and engaging with neighbours regarding the progress of works.”
Chairwoman of the Targeted Lead Abatement Program Julie Mitchell said her organisation supported any community initiative that reduced exposure and children's blood-lead levels.
“As the sports precinct project is on council land and is a council project, this is a matter between the council and the EPA," she said.
Health SA’s regional director of Yorke and Northern, Roger Kirchner, said that late last year the Environmental Health Centre had outlined to the council the special strategies and requirements they would need to put in place to ensure dust movement was controlled during the project. The centre is opposite the oval precinct in Gertrude Street.