Chemical stockpiles found at Melbourne warehouses linked to West Footscray inferno

| 02.01,19. 12:49 PM |


Chemical stockpiles found at Melbourne warehouses linked to West Footscray inferno



The huge blaze produced a large amount of thick, black smoke. (ABC News)


An investigation into last year's industrial inferno in West Footscray has uncovered "illegal" chemical stockpiles in seven warehouses in Melbourne's north, according to authorities.


The Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) alleged "high volumes of chemicals" were being stored illegally at four neighbouring sites in Epping and three sites in Campbellfield.


The sites house so many containers it could take several weeks to identify and quantify all the chemicals stored inside, the EPA said.


The discoveries were made on Friday as part of targeted inspections by the EPA and other authorities as the environmental watchdog investigates the August 2018 West Footscray warehouse fire.


"The inspections detected concerning amounts of liquid chemical waste stored within warehouses at several sites," the EPA said in a statement.


"The waste is contained and there is no immediate risk to the community."


Around-the-clock security guards had been employed to secure the sites, it said.


Sandbags have also been placed around the doors of the buildings, as well as around drains on the street, in order to prevent any run-off from the stockpiles.


The EPA has also set up mobile air-quality-monitoring devices around the site.


Land title searches show that all the properties in Epping — three on Devon Court, and an adjoining site on Yale Drive — and at least one of the Campbellfield warehouses are owned by the occupants of an address in the nearby suburb of Lalor.


Inspections linked to notorious West Footscray inferno


The discoveries at Epping and Campbellfield were sparked by information uncovered by the EPA as it investigates the cause of the West Footscray warehouse fire last year.


That blaze began on August 30 and sent thick, toxic smoke over Melbourne's western suburbs, which prompted authorities to issue multiple public health warnings.


Firefighters who attended the Somerville Road fire told the ABC they were shocked at how many 44-gallon drums and other containers were in the building.


It is believed chemicals were being stored in the warehouse without a permit.


The EPA said it may never be able to identify all of the chemicals released into the environment during the fire, and the coroner is running its own investigation into the incident.


However, PFAS — a controversial firefighting foam that has been phased out of use — was revealed as one of the "key chemicals" found in


abc


(Votes: 0)

Write Your Comment
Comment

Other News

Opal Tower woes continue after new cracks found on lower levels Police officer injured in hit-and-run while doing breath tests in Adelaide on New Year's Day Category one Tropical Cyclone Penny to cross Queensland coast this afternoon Sydney New Year's Eve revellers hit by heavy rain after camping overnight to see fireworks New Year's Eve celebrations in Australia's capital cities will include new pastel fireworks and extra public transport Man dies after being run over while asleep at a camping ground in southern New South Wales Queenslanders in state's far north urged to factor tropical cyclone threat into New Year's Day plans Man dies after taking 'unknown substance' at Lost Paradise music festival NSW Government to crack down on dodgy building certifiers following Opal Tower saga Teenager shot by police in Brisbane after wielding knives and 'threatening officers' Police arrest Chilean 'tourists' allegedly running luxury goods burglary syndicate in Australia Boy, 7, travelling with truck driver dad dies in Darling Downs highway collision Deaths in Duncraig and Clarkson house fights see two men charged with murder NSW Police investigate video of officer appearing to tell driver 'go back to China' during traffic stop Sydney Opal Tower crack photos emerge as NSW Government launches investigation Bonnyrigg man who shot stepmother in head with nail gun on Christmas Day charged with attempted murder Drone operator stops Christmas Day bushfire waterbombing on Bruny Grafton man shot by police after allegedly lunging at them with knife Australians lose more than $200 million a year by paying with cards over cash BOM warns Australians to expect 'extreme heatwaves' after Christmas Woman left on road after hit-and-run in Adelaide on Christmas morning Daughter sees parents killed in crash after Christmas church service in Townsville Sydney Opal Tower at 'no risk' of collapse, but many residents still unable to return home 'An absolute tragedy': Surf warnings issued after father and son drown ranian truck drivers launch the 5th round of strike New imported 'luxury' vehicles for federal MPs to be trialled in 2019 BOM warns Australians to expect 'extreme heatwaves' after Christmas Sydney Opal Tower apartment building evacuated after reports of cracking noises Woman allegedly flees fatal crash in stolen car, leaving kids and dead passenger behind Learner driver charged over 20yo man's death near Cairns party