PORT FAIRY’S East Beach has been given a clean bill of health.
An environmental study failed to uncover hazardous materials at two former tip sites.
The rubbish dump and night soil landfills located along the beach towards the golf course have been a cause of anxiety for the community, with concerns ongoing erosion could spill the former contents into the ocean.
In September Moyne Shire and the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) commissioned a survey of the area.
The findings, released this week, have declared the dunes free of pesticides.
Port Fairy Working Group chairman Oliver Moles welcomed the positive news, saying the public now had the facts on side.
“It is a relief for our community that we now know what we’re dealing with,” Mr Moles said.
“No gas emissions were found at the former nightsoil site now managed by DSE and negligible emissions were found at the site managed by Moyne Shire Council.
“No pesticide contaminants were found at either site.”
Mr Moles said rubbished exposed by erosion had sparked worry over what lay beneath the sand, with asbestos, glass and other materials known to lurk under the surface.
Cans protruding from the sand can now be seen by beach walkers.
The nightsoil site — where human waste was dumped from the eighteenth century until the middle of the 20th century — and the landfill, which was used by local government in the 1950s, both stretch several hundred metres along the sand dunes.
“There’s no evidence of leaking from the site into the water,” Mr Moles said.
It is recommended both DSE and council monitor the beach and carry out clean-up works when needed.
“We also ask people to observe safety measures, which include keeping out of the fenced-off areas and taking care near the unstable dune faces on the beach,” Mr Moles said.
Gas and groundwater bores will remain in place to monitor the landfills. A final report has also been given to the Environmental Protection Authority.
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