Marla Diesel Spill Remediation

As part of response to a diesel spill in remote northern South Australia, National Transport Insurance engaged EHS Support to develop a Remediation Plan. Around 400 m² of land was impacted by the spill, including an ephemeral creek that was found to be culturally sensitive to the Yankunytjatjara people. In response, EHS Support engaged with the Traditional Owners of the Yankunytjatjara Native Title Aboriginal Corporation and the SA EPA to develop a remediation plan acceptable to all stakeholders.

Three remediation options were assessed, and Traditional Owners were engaged early to provide input to the Remediation Options Assessment prior to sending to the SA EPA. Engaging with the Traditional Owners led to understanding their concerns and advice for excavation of the impacted area. The option to remediate onsite was preferred as it would have lower cultural impact by allowing soil to remain on the land.

Engaging with local contractors during site preparations led to the sharing of community knowledge that a section of creek bed was a culturally sensitive secret business area. This was confirmed by the Traditional Owners, and as a result the area was treated sensitively during works. During engagement with Traditional Owners it was also noted that a native frog species was present underground near the creek, so excavation plans were adapted to ensure this area was remediated and returned to its original state to the extent practicable.

Traditional Owners continued to be involved in the remediation process through the supervision of excavation works to provide guidance and ensure the protection of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage. The project also contributed to community benefit through the engagement of local contractors to undertake the work.

The chosen remediation program was the most culturally sensitive remediation option that aligned with both Traditional Owner preferences and the SA EPA, whilst also effectively reducing diesel impact to the environment.

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