As at 11am 23 February 2018 Update #1
Port Otago is cordoning off and prohibiting any access to the ‘wharf sheds’ and wharf area along Fryatt Street, Dunedin effective immediately while an asbestos management plan is put in place.
Port Otago commissioned independent experts, K2 Environmental Limited, to undertake testing after a member of the public reported what could have been asbestos in the general area.
The K2 Report including a map of the affected area is being provided in full to affected parties and can also be found on the Port Otago website
The K2 report found that air samples results were below the detection limit which was reassuring, however, it did find asbestos containing dust in all internal areas and in the soil outside.
That prompted the immediate cordoning off of the area today to stop any access. Security will also be on the site to keep the area secure.
Port Otago will work with those tenants and affected people who have parked their cars in the area so they know what to do in terms of removing cars or plant and then the washing of those. The detail of this is being worked out and updates will be provided as quickly as possible.
Port Otago is contacting all its tenants of the sheds, staff, neighbours, customers and other stakeholders about the K2 Report and the immediate safety steps being taken. Notices are also being put under window wipers of cars parked in the area. Port Otago is asking anyone who receives these updates and notices to please pass them on to anyone who might need to know about this.
A neighbourhood meeting has been called for 4.00pm today [Friday 23 February 2018] at Harbourside Grill, Custom House, 18 Fryatt St and Port Otago Chief Executive Kevin Winders will also be on site [in an area that is safe to meet so look for directions on the cordon fencing] tomorrow morning for those that could not attend today because of work commitments etc.
Kevin Winders and his team along with the report author will present at the meeting and answer as many questions as possible. It is likely though that there will be some information that won’t yet be available. A full management plan will be developed for steps to be taken over the longer term.
Kevin Winders says Port Otago is taking a very proactive approach to securing and containing the area to reduce the asbestos being further disturbed which is where the greatest risk lies.
"Even though the air sample results were below the detection limit, Port Otago is taking seriously the fact that 'asbestos dust' was found inside the buildings and in the soil." [Ends]
Please note that Kevin Winders won’t be available for follow-up media interviews until later today given his first priority and focus is on taking all the immediate steps recommended in the report. He will be available to media after the community meeting later today alongside experts from K2 Environmental. If you have any immediate questions or clarification on any aspect, then you can also email these through to Jodi Taylor firstname.lastname@example.org and all efforts will be made to try and respond to these as quickly as possible.