1904 – 1994: Midland Railway Workshops (WA). Contaminated Site

Midland Railway Workshops

Location:       Midland, Western Australia.

Status:           Confirmed POP’s contaminated site

POP’s type:   Unspecified OCP’s

This site is located east of Western Australia’s capital Perth. The old Midland Railway Workshops were closed in the 1990’s and have been the subject of environmental investigations in recent years. The site was used for nearly a hundred years and involved large scale metal fabrication, casting and general engineering. A wide range of hazardous chemicals were used on site and most residues were buried in different areas around the

Contamination is widespread across the site with high concentrations in the former hydrocarbon dump on-site. Remediation to date has only involved the removal of soil from surface areas and significant contamination remains beneath this layer.

Recent government reports confirm that contamination of the site is still a problem.

There is a solvent plume in groundwater beneath the site. The extent of the plume is

unknown. There are hydrocarbon plumes at isolated locations across the site, including

phase separated hydrocarbons. Heavy metals are present in groundwater. Pesticides have

also been detected in the groundwater.

 There are waste fill deposits over a large portion of the site containing heavy metals,

asbestos, hydrocarbons, pesticides and solvents. A dedicated asbestos dump containing

buried asbestos material is located in the central part of the site[1].

Action Required

  • Full remediation of site and treatment of OCP’s by environmentally acceptable technology.
  • Dioxin assessment of soil contamination.

[1] Department of Environment and Conservation (2009) Contaminated Sites Act 2003. Basic Summary of Records Search Response. Midland Railway Workshops

Source: National Toxics Network – Australian POPs Hotspots A briefing paper on facilities and sites with confirmed or inferred POP’s pollution. Author: Lee Bell March 2009