Repeated tests by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) found no trace of the cancer-inducing material in the ash cloud over Port Augusta.
The asbestos testing was launched following an alarming concern of former worker at Northern Power Station regarding possible asbestos contamination in the ash cloud. However, owner of the defunct power station Flinders Power immediately dismissed the allegation, telling Tony Circelli, EPA chief exec that there was “no chance” asbestos could be in the dust blowing off the power station ash dam.
The environmental agency still went on to consider testing for possible asbestos contamination. Results show no asbestos fibres in the samples collected from the air monitoring undertaken in recent weeks. In October, dust samples were taken from the ash dam for lab analysis and no asbestos fibres were found. Samples were also taken on January 1 and still found no asbestos fibres.
Mr. Circelli said that they have started investigating on the ash dam back in 2016 through an independent auditor. “They have gone looking for buried asbestos and, to date, they haven’t been able to find any. That’s not to say that we won’t find some [but] … we have had very strong assurances from Flinders Power on the weekend that they can quite conclusively say there’s no asbestos in the crust of the ash dam.”
Meanwhile, the EPA confirmed that asbestos were found in the power station buildings and are subject for disposal “in absolute best practice.”