HYDROCARBONS caused work to stop at Geelong's $80 million TAC relocation site, testing revealed yesterday.
Property developers said soil contaminated with hydrocarbons, a product of crude-oil used in petroleum and other fuel products, were behind fumes and odour at the Brougham St site.
Excavation unearthed the contamination and led to one worker being hospitalised and the state's environmental watchdog to step in.
Workers returned to the site yesterday to start removing the contaminated soil before construction work would continue next week.
Last week site managers stopped work when one worker, already suffering from gastroenteritis, fell ill and the Environmental Protection Authority received complaints of odour from the site.
Project developer FKP Property Group yesterday confirmed the hydrocarbon contamination, which was not expected to cause any lasting health effects.
State executive general manager Jason Smith said the firm had worked with WorkSafe Victoria and the environment watchdog in planning to remove the soil.
``There was an odourous substance discovered in the soil and now our construction management plan has been updated to reflect that,'' he said.
``There will be between three and four days' work to remove the material in a safe manner and then its full-steam-ahead once again.''
Mr Smith said the developers had previously found and removed soil with low-level contamination but the latest chemical substance discovery was more concentrated.
It was understood the contamination came from dumping during a previous period of industry on site.
WorkSafe spokesman Paul Fallon said the site would be monitored to ensure safety.
``We're still working with them to make sure they meet their obligations to the workers and to the public,'' he said.
Last week the environmental watchdog issued developers with a notice to stop on-site odours after receiving several community complaints.
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