Pollution of Gladstone State Forest  reported to EPA

Community representatives from the Bellingen Environment Centre have made a pollution line incident report of pollution occurring yesterday in Woods Creek in Gladstone State Forest following recent logging and heavy rainfall.

The incident was reported at the corner of Sunny Corner and Woods Creek roads in Gladstone State Forest and followed the failure of erosion prevention measures the Forest Corporation were required to install there prior to logging.

The requirement to install rubber flaps on either road (Sunny Corner and Woods creek) to deflect runoff and to construct silt mesh retainers at the runoff point is included in the harvest plan for the forest.

The pollution into Woods Creek was first observed and recorded  at 1.40  pm on Tuesday Tuesday 6 March .

In June 2017 community representatives first reported to the EPA failures in implementation of erosion control measures at this site in Gladstone State Forest. No results  of the investigation have been provided as yet by the EPA.

A timely response by the EPA to the first report may have averted the current pollution incident asaid a BEC representative.

In 2015 The Forest Corporation was fined $15k for causing in excess of 100 cubic meters of sediment to be washed into in the Never Never catchment in February of that year.  In that incident the EPA found the forest Corporation had failed to deliver appropriate due diligence in its forestry operations to implement effective erosion and sediment control measures.

Both Gladstone and Never Never State Forests are both located in the highly erosion prone Nambucca Soil Beds.

The section of Gladstone State forest being logged was assessed by the Forest Corporation in its harvest planning as having dispersible soils with a high inherent hazard level and the presence of mass movement or evidence of soil instability.

We have recently received recent advice from a highly qualified soil scientist that logging should be removed from all state forests in the Nambucca Soil Beds in  the headwaters of the Bellinger , Kalang and Nambucca Rivers said a BEC spokesperson

The Kalang River is the northern limit of the distribution of the giant crayfish (Euastacus spinifer ). A species considered a highly susceptible to turbidity with a high reported incidence  of mortality in the river in recent years.

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