Port Kembla stack demolition still 'risky'

The demolition of Port Kembla stack has been approved despite "medium" risks it could cause serious injury or death, release dust into the atmosphere or damage neighbouring buildings.

NSW Planning signed off on the controversial razing this week, allowing Port Kembla Copper to set a knock-down date of February 20.

However according to a report prepared by consulting firm Golder Associates, there remains a medium risk of "serious injury or death of site workers and surrounding land users and occupants" and the "potential release of dust into the atmosphere" which could affect air quality and stormwater.

GALLERY: Port Kembla stack in the frame

These risks originally had a "high" risk rating but this has been reduced by a pre-demolition plan, the report says.

Dust levels have been managed through an assessment of bricks and residue which were exposed to emissions during the stack's operation, as well as bricks which were not exposed to emissions.

Asbestos was not detected in any of the samples and Golder concluded that "the mass metal contaminants within the stack residue is considered to be very low".

Dust generation will also be minimised by the wetting down of the stack before and after demolition as well as the use of several dust suppression units.

According to the report, the levelling of the stack also carries a medium risk of short periods of intrusive noise, and a chance the vibrations could damage off-site structures.

PKC will pay for the cleaning of any vehicles or property impacted by dust. The company will also pay for repairs to any properties damaged by vibration.

There are low risks of spillage during the transportation of materials during the demolition, as well as contaminated waste water, soil and ground water.

The 198-metre chimney was originally due to fall in September.

However it was cancelled at the last minute due to community fears about asbestos, air pollution and other risks associated with the demolition and evacuation plans.

On Wednesday, NSW Planning said it was satisfied the latest documents were "comprehensive and appropriate - with public safety the paramount consideration".

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