Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) urges the community not to tamper with air monitoring equipment being used to measure air quality near the Coolaroo fire at the corner of Hampden and Avenel streets.
A piece of EPA’s air monitoring equipment was moved from its location yesterday but has since been located by VicPol; it has been assessed by EPA officers and will not be able to be redeployed at this stage.
Three other similar pieces of EPA equipment continue to monitor air quality at Coolaroo, providing community with real time data via EPA’s AirWatch website.
EPA CEO Nial Finegan said it was disappointing that someone would interfere with equipment placed to monitor air quality in support of emergency services at a time when accurate information is vital for community safety.
"When placing our monitoring equipment, EPA chooses locations to best reflect community needs. We have had great community support in allowing us to place our monitors on private property. This community support has been starkly contrasted by the actions of a few people," Mr Finegan said.
"Interference with EPA equipment is not only dangerous, it is a serious offence and EPA will not hesitate to take the strongest action available against anyone who maliciously interferes with monitoring equipment."
EPA officers are also using mobile equipment during school hours (yesterday and today) to monitor air quality around the Dallas and Coolaroo areas.