Tonsley innovation district (Former mitsubishi plant, adelaide)

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The Project

BlueSphere was engaged by Renewal SA in 2015 to act as the lead consultant in the ongoing assessment and redevelopment of the former Mitsubishi Motors Australia Ltd assembly plant at Tonsley, South Australia.  The Mitsubishi plant and surrounding industrial facilities have left an extensive legacy of trichloroethylene (TCE) groundwater contamination which extends onto the surrounding residential suburbs and has lead to the demolition of some residential properties adjacent to the site with associated intense regulatory and media scrutiny. 

The work conducted by BlueSphere over the last three years has been conducted to very tight timelines under a Voluntary Site Contamination Assessment Proposal (VSCAP) agreed between Renewal SA and the SA EPA, and as part of a restricted scope Site Contamination Audit.

Throughout this process BlueSphere has consistently met its obligations with respect to submission deadlines, often under very tight deadlines.


  • Extensive soil and groundwater investigations involving review of more than 150 environmental reports, more than 120 groundwater monitoring wells, 160 soil vapour wells, 500 soil vapour spears and numerous other investigations and testing.

  • Preparation of a final CSM report identifying the nature and extent, and likely sources of the multiple plumes seen across the investigation area.

  • Preparation of a final Human Health and Environmental Risk Assessment (HERA) incorporating data from all relevant investigations and the conclusions of the final CSM.

  • Preparation of a Remediation Options Assessment (ROA) for the site.

This will facilitate preparation of Interim Audit Advice by the Site Contamination Auditor in late 2018 to meet Renewal SA’s obligations under the VSCAP.

Benefits to Client

  • Development of a robust CSM facilitated tight scoping and targeting of investigations that represented value for money to the client.

  • Investigations showed that the EPA designated VSCAP source areas for contamination were unlikely to be source areas and remediation of these areas was not likely to be necessary.

  • Identified other contaminant source zones and release areas more worthy of investigative and remedial focus to reduce risk.

  • Renewal SA was able to meet its regulatory obligations.