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The Hazmat and Environmental teams at Hibbs have been working together supervising a major demolition project at the University of New England’s Robb College, in which our involvement has just come to completion.
Robb College comprised of three college dorm buildings constructed in the early 1960s. The Hazmat team supervised the asbestos removal phase of the demolition over a 9 month period, beginning in the chilly Armidale winter.
A carefully orchestrated process of staged friable removal enclosures was undertaken to remove the extensive network of friable pipe lagging in all three buildings. Underground lagged pipes were also removed after the demolition of the main structures. The underground pipes were wrapped then cut with glove bags.
Our most interesting unexpected find was limpet asbestos discovered embedded under the paint during detail cleaning of a plant room. The structures had to be demolished around the plant rooms, then the walls were sprayed with a foam and demolished under controlled conditions.
After taking 668 air samples over 154 air monitoring reports, we are pleased that the asbestos removal works were completed safely and effectively.
The Environmental team was engaged to develop a remedial action plan following the identification of elevated concentrations of dieldrin on the site. Dieldrin is an organochlorine pesticide used for treating wood products against termites, and is a scheduled chemical that has been linked to a range of health issues in humans and other animals. The dieldrin was identified within a layer of sawdust below the concrete slab footings of the dormitory buildings. .
The dieldrin remedial works commenced in January 2019 and involved the environmental team supervising the removal of the concrete slabs, the excavation of the contaminated sawdust and a 50-100 mm scrape of the underlying soil.
The excavated sawdust and underlying soil were classified for waste disposal; the dieldrin impacted waste was transported offsite and treated.
All dieldrin impacted sawdust and soil was successfully removed and all the surface soils within the building footprint were confirmed to have concentrations of dieldrin below the relevant environmental and health risk guidelines. We are pleased to hand over a safe and healthy site for future developments.
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