‘Historic Victory’ for Environmental Group at Wannon Water’s Warrnambool Treatment Plant | The standard


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Wannon Water was cleared to move forward with a $ 40 million upgrade to its treatment plant after an environmental group claimed a “historic victory” that effectively halted future pipe extension projects evacuation of the ocean. Work looked set to be further delayed with a Victoria Civil Administrative Court hearing scheduled for February next year, but an agreement between the parties will mean the project can now go to tender. Clean Ocean Foundation said it had achieved its goal of forcing the Environmental Protection Authority and Wannon Water to abandon plans for a deep ocean outfall from its wastewater treatment plant – something that needed to happen. produce after the $ 40 million upgrade. Wannon Water chief executive Andrew Jeffers said a revised agreement on the EPA’s previous decision now says hit had to write an assessment report that looked at all options. “We think this is a much better outcome for the community,” said Jeffers. He said he was happy to work with the foundation and the EPA to ensure that the “critical upgrade” can continue. In a negotiated settlement, the foundation said Wannon Water and the EPA would now be required to work with it to eliminate the need for a waste pipe and a mixing zone which is called “the dead zone around a Drain pipe”. They will have to introduce disinfection of the toxic waste stream, which was not originally proposed by Wannon Water, said foundation chief executive John Gemmill. “For an environmental charity with limited resources, we took a huge risk in starting this expensive legal process, but we had no choice because of the appalling outcome initially approved by the EPA,” said Mr. Gemmill. “This agreement will also allow us to uncover the true cost of industrial waste in the community of Warrnambool and ultimately help us in our goal of reforming the system so that the polluter is held to pay a fair price for their impact on the environment.” Mr Gemmill said the issue was particularly significant with the Port Fairy outfall, which also discharges a combined domestic and industrial effluent stream. “To our knowledge, this is the first time an environmental group has had this in Victoria,” Gemmill said. “The community will be safe by the end of 2025 and then they will have a system of treatment by the end of a decade that it can be proud of. ”A spokesperson for the EPA said the VCAT decision required Wannon Water to provide an assessment study report prepared by a qualified expert. “The report should identify alternative wastewater disposal methodologies to the satisfaction of the EPA,” the spokesperson said. “The priority for the EPA will continue to be to protect the environment. ”IN OTHER NEWS: CORONAVIRUS STORIES: We have removed our paywall from our coronavirus stories. This is a rapidly evolving situation and we aim to ensure our readers are as informed as possible. If you want to support our journalists, you can register here. but, one push with our new app: Digital subscribers now have the ability to receive information faster, at their fingertips with The Standard: our journalists work hard to provide local and up-to-date information to the community. Here’s how you can access our trusted content: Have you signed up for The Standard’s daily newsletter and topical emails? You can sign up below and make sure you’re up to date with everything that is happening in the Southwest.



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