The administrator of the former Pasminco Smelter at Boolaroo is applying to the Department of Planning and Environment to water-down their commitment to monitor a lead containment cell.

Corporate recovery firm Ferrier Hodgson is hoping to remove a Department of Planning stipulation tying them to the future monitoring of contamination at the site.

The company claims it can’t afford to pay for the monitoring unless the land is sold off to furniture giant IKEA for $22-million-dollars.

Lake Macquarie MP and chair of the Lead Expert Working Group, Greg Piper, says the application is concerning but the Department won’t easily allow a weakening of monitoring.

Community members believe the application represents a shirking of environmental responsibility, and Jim Sullivan from the Boolaroo Action Group says he’s worried about who’ll foot the bill in future.

The former Pasminco smelter. Image: Newcastle Herald