A man who dumped a load of hazardous asbestos material in a truck in 2 suburban streets close to Maitland has put more than 50 individuals at risk.
Police have requested the public for details for identifying the individual who drove the tip truck into Central Ave. in Tarro on Tuesday at 9:30 PM and began releasing construction materials onto the center of the road.
Residents in the area heard the noises and they went outside for investigating. The driver became startled. The residents were shocked to find the dangerous material being dumped within meters of their houses and were quickly concerned for their and their children’s health.
The startled driver ran out of that street with hazardous asbestos material hanging off his truck’s back. He turned onto Anderson Dr. and then onto Woodberry Rd. where he dumped the remaining load.
Hazmat workers confirmed that the dumped substance was asbestos as they arrived following a triple-zero call from the residents of Central Ave. The crew wore protective wears and respiratory masks for cleaning up the mess. They disposed it of rightly at a waste facility at a Newcastle City Council.
Officials with New South Wales Environmental Protection Authority have said repeatedly that illicitly dumped asbestos material poses a very serious risk, especially if asbestos fibers become airborne. That’s why EPA regulations say asbestos should be wetted and contained in heavy-duty polythene before the substance was taken to a proper waste disposal facility.
John Zdrilic, a Maitland Detective Inspector and the Crime Manager of the NSW Police Central Hunter Local Area Command, said the driver hadn’t shown any concern for the safety and health of the people residing in the two suburban streets. Zdrilic appealed for more info to help the police locate the driver.
Zdrilic said the residents in the streets have possibly inhaled dangerous asbestos fibers. He said he was really worried about the children. Zdrilic said asbestos fibers could’ve been carried through air and there wasn’t any way to know how far the fibers had spread.
He said someone who saw the truck or knows the driver needs to come forward and help him and the police. Illegal asbestos dumping carries a fine of $1M $250000 for individuals and for businesses. The EPA had conducted a campaign a year ago to attempt to tackle the illegal behavior. The agency has the authority to seize the vehicle used for unlawful dumping.