Cringila Public School underground hotspot

The department is working to solve the underground fire in coal wash materials at Cringila Public School, and is carefully monitoring air quality around the school.

Advice for the school community

As you may be aware on 19 September 2017 some smoke was observed rising from the ground within the securely fenced area on the western side of the staff carpark at Cringila Public School, indicating a level of underground activity associated with the landfill material.

In response, the department arranged for environmental consultants to undertake air monitoring of the site including the school buildings and surrounding areas. The results of the testing which was carried out on 25, 28, 29 September and 24 October confirmed the site to be safe. See below for a summary of the report and the full report.

The safety of staff, students and the community is of paramount importance. The department will continue to work with NSW Health and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to resolve this matter.

As the existing fence has deteriorated, temporary fencing has been erected to ensure the site is secure.

The area in which the smoke was observed has been subject to ongoing monitoring of the underground temperature to determine its condition with a view to restore the site and hand it back to the school.

When the underground temperature is deemed to be at the appropriate level remediation works will commence. Meanwhile, the department has engaged Greencap Pty Ltd (an Environmental Specialist) to review the current approach and provide recommendations for the development of an updated action plan which is expected to be available early in December.

The scope of their engagement includes the ongoing monitoring of the air quality, and they will commence work undertaking a series of tests. We will summarise their findings here, as well as include their full report.

The department has fully remediated much of the original affected area, commencing work in 2001 and returning a large portion of land to the school in 2008.

The department is committed to completing remediation of the remaining area.

The school community will continue to be updated on this website as further information becomes available.

Periodic reports provided by Greencap are:

1. History and Frequent Questions and Answers

2. J153825-AMR-01-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-15-nov-2017-01-dec-2017.pdf

3. J153825-AMR-02-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-04-dec-2017-08-dec-2017.pdf

4. J153825-AMR-03-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-11-dec-2017-15-dec-2017.pdf

5. J153825-AMR-04-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-18-dec-2017-22-dec-2017.pdf

6. J153825-AMR-05-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-27-dec-2017-29-dec-2017.pdf

7. J153825-AMR-06-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-02-jan-2018-05-jan-2018.pdf

8. J153825-AMR-07-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-08-jan-2018-12-jan-2018.pdf

9. J153825-AMR-08-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-15-jan-2018-19-jan-2018.pdf

10. J153825-AMR-09-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-22-jan-2018-26-jan-2018.pdf

11. J153825-AMR-10-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-29-jan-2018-02-feb-2018.pdf

12. Cringila-ps-preliminary-assessment-interim-report-northwest-hotspot-february-2018.pdf

13. J153825-AMR-11-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-05-feb-2018-09-feb-2018.pdf

14. J153825-AMR-12-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-12-feb-2018-16-feb-2018.pdf

15. J153825-AMR-13-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-19-feb-2018-23-feb-2018.pdf

16. J153825-AMR-14-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-26-feb-2018-02-mar-2018.pdf

17. J153825-AMR-15-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-05-mar-2018-09-mar-2018.pdf

18. J153825-AMR-16-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-12-mar-2018-16-mar-2018.pdf

19. J153825-AMR-17-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-19-mar-2018-23-mar-2018.pdf

20. J153825-AMR-18-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-26-mar-2018-30-mar-2018.pdf

21. J153825-AMR-19-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-02-apr-2018-06-apr-2018.pdf

22. J153825-AMR-20-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-09-apr-2018-13-apr-2018.pdf

23. J153825-AMR-21-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-16-apr-2018-20-apr-2018.pdf

24. J153825-AMR-22-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-23-apr-2018-27-apr-2018.pdf

25. J153825-AMR-23-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-30-apr-2018-04-may-2018.pdf

26. J153825-AMR-24-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-07-may-2018-11-may-2018.pdf

27. J153825-AMR-25-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-14-may-2018-18-may-2018.pdf

28. J153825-AMR-26-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-21-may-2018-25-may-2018.pdf

29. J153825-TI-01-cringila-ps-near-surface-temperature-monitoring-30-apr-2018-04-may-2018.pdf

30. J153825-TI-02-cringila-ps-near-surface-temperature-monitoring-07-may-2018-11-may-2018.pdf

31. J153825-TI-03-cringila-ps-near-surface-temperature-monitoring-14-may-2018-18-may-2018.pdf

32. J153825-TI-04-cringila-ps-near-surface-temperature-monitoring-21-may-2018-25-may-2018.pdf

33. J153825-TI-05-cringila-ps-near-surface-temperature-monitoring-28-may-2018-01-jun-2018.pdf

34. J153825-AMR-27-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-28-may-2018-1-jun-2018.pdf

35. J153825-AMR-28-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-04-jun-2018-08-jun-2018.pdf

36. J153825-TI-06-cringila-ps-near-surface-temperature-monitoring-04-jun-2018-08-jun-2018.pdf

37. J153825-AMR-29-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-11-jun-2018-15-jun-1018.pdf

38. J153825-TI-07-cringila-ps-near-surface-temperature-monitoring-11-jun-2018-15-jun-2018.pdf

39. J153825-AMR-30-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-18-jun-2018-22-jun-2018.pdf

40. J153825-TI-08-cringila-ps-near-surface-temperature-monitoring-18-jun-2018-22-jun-2018.pdf

41. J153825-AMR-31-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-25-jun-2018-29-jun-2018.pdf

42. J153825-TI-09-cringila-ps-near-surface-temperature-monitoring-25-jun-2018-29-jun-2018.pdf

43. J153825-AMR-32-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-02-jul-2018-06-jul-2018.pdf

44. J153825-TI-10-cringila-ps-near-surface-temperature-monitoring-02-jul-2018-06-jul-2018.pdf

45. J153825-AMR-33-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-09-jul-2018-13-jul-2018.pdf

46. J153825-TI-11-cringila-ps-near-surface-temperature-monitoring-09-jul-2018-13-jul-2018.pdf

47. J153825-AMR-34-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-16-jul-2018-20-jul-2018.pdf

48. J153825-TI-12-cringila-ps-near-surface-temperature-monitoring-16-jul-2018-20-jul-2018.pdf

49. J153825-AMR-35-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-23-jul-2018-27-jul-2018.pdf

50. J153825-TI-13-cringila-ps-near-surface-temperature-monitoring-23-jul-2018-27-jul-2018.pdf

51. J153825-AMR-36-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-30-jul-2018-03-aug-2018.pdf

52. J153825-TI-14-cringila-ps-near-surface-temperature-monitoring-30-jul-2018-03-aug-2018.pdf

53. J153825-AMR-37-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-06-aug-2018-10-aug-2018.pdf

54. J153825-TI-15-cringila-ps-near-surface-temperature-monitoring-06-aug-2018-10-aug-2018.pdf

55. J153825-AMR-38-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-13-aug-2018-17-aug-2018.pdf

56. J153825-TI-16-cringila-ps-near-surface-temperature-monitoring-13-aug-2018-17-aug-2018.pdf

57. J153825-AMR-39-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-20-aug-2018-24-aug-2018.pdf

58. J153825-TI-17-cringila-ps-near-surface-temperature-monitoring-20-aug-2018-24-aug-2018.pdf

60. J153825-AMR-40-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-27-aug-2018-31-aug-2018.pdf

61. J153825-TI-18-cringila-ps-nears-surface-temperature-monitoring-27-aug-2018-31-aug-2018.pdf

62. J153825-AMR-41-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-03-sep-2018-07-sep-2018.pdf

63. J153825-TI-19-cringila-ps-near-surface-temperature-monitoring-03-sep-2018-07-sep-2018.pdf

64. J153825-AMR-42-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-10-sep-2018-14-sep-2018.pdf

65. J153825-TI-20-cringila-ps-near-surface-temperature-monitoring-10-sep-2018-14-sep-2018.pdf

66. J153825-AMR-43-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-17-sep-2018-21-sep-2018.pdf

67. J153825-TI-21-cringila-ps-near-surface-temperature-monitoring-17-sep-2018-21-sep-2018.pdf

68. J153825-AMR-44-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-24-sep-2018-28-sep-2018.pdf

69. J153825-TI-22-cringila-ps-near-surface-temperature-monitoring-24-sep-2018-28-sep-2018.pdf

70. J153825-AMR-45-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-01-oct-2018-05-oct-2018.pdf

71. J153825-TI-23-cringila-ps-near-surface-temperature-monitoring-01-oct-2018-05-oct-2018.pdf

72. J153825-AMR-IAQ-01-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-interim-report-05-sep-2018-18-sep-2018.pdf

73. J153825-AMR-46-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-08-oct-2018-12-oct-2018.pdf

74. J153825-TI-24-cringila-ps-near-surface-temperature-monitoring-08-oct-2018-12-oct-2018.pdf

75. J153825-AMR-47-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-15-oct-2018-19-oct-2018.pdf

76. J153825-TI-25-cringila-ps-near-surface-temperature-monitoring-15-oct-2018-19-oct-2018.pdf

77. J153825-AMR-IAQ-02-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-weekly-report-19-oct-2018.pdf

78. J153825-AMR-48-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-assessment-22-oct-2018-26-oct-2018.pdf

79. J153825-TI-26-cringila-ps-near-surface-temperature-monitoring-22-oct-2018-26-oct-2018.pdf

80. J153825-AMR-IAQ-03-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-weekly-report-23-oct-2018.pdf

81. J153825-AMR-49-cringila-ps-air-monitoring-risk-asessment-29-oct-2018-02-nov-2018.pdf

82. J153825-TI-27-cringila-ps-near-surface-temperature-monitoring-29-oct-2018-02-nov-2018.pdf

83. J153825-cringila-ps-temperature-report-data-review-nov-2018.pdf

Summary of Initial Air Quality Monitoring Report at Cringila Public School

The following is a plain English summary from WSP Australia. While every attempt is made to summarise the findings in lay terms, you should refer to the full reports for a detailed explanation of the investigations.

Please note that the documents may not conform to the department’s accessibility standards. If you need help, contact the Compliance and Safety Unit on (02) 95611011.

WSP was engaged by the Department of Education to conduct air monitoring with the aid of real-time monitoring devices as well as specialised whole air sampling devices (Summa Canisters) at Cringila Public School.

Samples were taken at locations from both within the school buildings as well as in external areas such playgrounds. Monitoring was undertaken on the 25, 28 and 29 September 2017. As a reference, a sample of the air coming out of the ground near the sub-surface fire was also taken. Refer to the initial air quality monitoring report dated 19 October 2017.

Follow-up air monitoring was undertaken in outsides areas of the School on 24 October 2017. Refer to the follow-up air quality monitoring report dated 27 October 2017.

Based on the air quality data collected as part of this monitoring assessment and site observations made during the multiple site visits, the inhalation risk to human health as a result of gases emanating from the subsurface coal fire is likely to be very low. This includes internal areas within the various school buildings as well as external areas such as playgrounds.

The reasons for this conclusion are based on the following:

  • Real time and passive sampling results did not indicate the presence of gas in elevated concentrations other than when at the source i.e. the subsurface coal fire.
  • Concentrations of gases commonly associated with coal fires, namely SO2, NO, NO2, O2, CO, CO2, H2S, volatile organic compounds and Methane (LEL – CH4), were not detected at concentrations that pose a risk to human health at the exclusion zone fence or elsewhere within the School premises including:
    • the Schools western boundary,
    • within Building 7 (Administration Desk),
    • within Building 5 (outside Room 5R1006)
    • in the Play Area between Buildings 2, 3 and 5
    • in the centre of the basketball court.
  • Concentrations of the same gases screened within the School were also screened in locations surrounding the School on Sheffield Street and Lackawanna Street. Again, the concentrations detected at these off-site locations were not detected at concentrations that pose a risk to human health.
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