Melbourne Toxic Chemical Waste Sites Under Security as Cleanup Begins

Photo credit: Eric/eks4003, Flickr Creative Commons

Australia’s EPA is endeavoring to remove more than a million liters of toxic chemical waste from illegal storage sites in Victoria that were discovered on December 28. The sites are under 24-hour guard while clean-up efforts are underway, according to 9 News.

Seven sites have so far been identified as illegally storing 1.2 million liters of chemical waste. The illegal storage areas were discovered during inspections of industrial sites by the EPA and other agencies resulting from investigative work that followed August’s West Footscray industrial fire. EPA is withholding the addresses of the sites for legal and security reasons but will ensure direct contact with local stakeholders, the organization says.

According to a statement from the EPA: “The chemical stores are contained and there is no immediate risk to the community. However, security staff continue to maintain a 24-hour presence and EPA has deployed mobile air quality monitoring as a precautionary measure to assure the protection of local communities.”

The EPA estimates it will be several weeks before a full inventory of the stockpiled chemical containers can be completed due to the number of containers discovered.

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