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Authorities target high-risk tyre sites

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22 Nov 2016
EPA and MFB to inspect high risk sites

As part of its ongoing inspection program, Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) will visit waste tyre storage and processing sites in Melbourne’s north-west this week to ensure businesses are managing their fire risks.                               

EPA will partner with the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB), Brimbank City Council, Hume City Council and the City of Whittlesea to target high risk sites.

EPA Metro Manager, Dan Hunt said EPA was continuing to conduct inspections of waste tyre sites with relevant councils and MFB, as co-regulators, in an effort to coordinate compliance and enforcement activities.

“Tyre stockpile fires are particularly difficult to control and generate hazardous smoke, but simple preventative measures can be implemented to reduce the risk of fire and minimise impacts. MFB has produced some clear simple guidance to help businesses prevent these risks,” he said.

“Earlier this year, we saw these impacts firsthand when a tyre fire at a recycling facility in Broadmeadows created very poor air quality conditions in the local area.

“Tyre fires can also be complex to deal with and potentially lead to significant environmental impacts during and post emergency response. They can also present considerable clean-up costs.”

“To reduce the fire risk, EPA is working proactively with the MFB and councils, as the relevant authorities for fire prevention, to conduct joint inspections and address any onsite hazards.”

Non-compliant site operators may be served with EPA remedial notices or Council Fire Prevention Notices requiring them to address any concerns identified. Where appropriate, EPA will apply sanctions in accordance with its Compliance and Enforcement Policy.

MFB’s Acting Chief Officer Paul Stacchino said that these inspections were both timely and necessary from a community and firefighter safety perspective.

“MFB will be partnering with EPA and local authorities to ensure that we identify fire risks at industrial sites, and we will work with facility owners and operators to minimise and eliminate factors that may pose a threat to both firefighter and community safety,” he said.

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