Port of Melbourne Corporation CEO Stephen Bradford, was reported in Port Phillip Leader (February 10, 2009) as saying:
“The contaminated material that was required to be moved by the large dredging vessels has all been removed. It has been in that designated material ground since late October. By the environmental management plan we then have to wait a minimum of 140 days after which point we will cap the material.”
Despite this, a large dredge was photographed operating in the Yarra on Feb 14, 2009; and the dredge schedule published on the Channel Project website (link below) indicates dredging of contaminated Yarra material would continue until Feb 18, 2009.
Has the CEO been misquoted or misinformed? In either event, we’re left wondering about the “140 days” required to allow contaminated sediments dumped in the Bay to consolidate before capping can be placed on them. In the same news article, the CEO is reported to have said “The 140 days expires on or around February 17”. Clearly, dredging of contaminated Yarra sediments has continued well into February 2009; so 140 days after dredging ceased would actually be on or around July 7, 2009.