Fed up Brooklyn residents have called for a manned monitoring station in the suburb to put an end to years of odour problems.
After a “rancid” smell engulfed the area last Monday night (April 23), residents say they’ve had enough.
Resident Chris Dunlevy said things seem to be going from bad to worse.
“It’s Victoria’s most polluted suburb. This has been going on for decades and nothing seems to be getting better, in fact it’s getting worse,” he said. “We’ve been hearing excuses for years and during that time we’re breathing in the air.
“We want a permanent monitoring station in Brooklyn and real action taken when breaches are made.”
An Environment Protection Authority spokesperson said Brooklyn was a high incident area and had been closely monitored for a number of years.
“EPA realises the local community has suffered a great deal from these ongoing issues.”
The spokesperson said the EPA had been very active enforcing pollution regulations in the area – 193 notices have been issued since 2012; 146 inspections have been carried out since 2015; and 18 notices are currently active.
“EPA has moved to a new despatch system that also uses weather modelling to predict conditions where odour and dust are more likely to be an issue,” the spokesperson said.
“On those days officers will be located in the area most likely to have concerns, enabling a rapid response.”
The EPA last week suspended the licence of Western Land Reclamation (WLR) following a continued inability to meet its obligations.
The suspension, until further notice, prevents WLR from accepting any further waste at its Brooklyn landfill site. It follows a show cause notice issued to WLR in March this year requiring the company to provide adequate reason as to why its licence should not be suspended.
EPA chief executive Nial Finegan said the decision was made for the community.
“The community would expect us to take this action to safeguard their local environment and have raised concerns directly with EPA in regard to the generation of dust from the height and state of landfill cells,” he said. “They would not have supported WLR continuing to earn revenue from the landfill levy rebate by accepting waste while it was so clearly in breach of the Environment Protection Act.”