The Hazelwood mine fire was officially declared safe on 25 March 2014 by the Fire Services Commissioner.
In accordance with the Environment Protection Authority Victoria’s (EPA) responsibilities as the State of Victoria’s environmental regulator, EPA monitored and analysed the air, soil and water in order to detect any potential environmental issues related to the fire. The results from the air monitoring were provided to the Department of Health and Human Services to assess potential impacts on human health and inform the community.
The results of this air monitoring are in these reports:
Summarising the air monitoring and conditions during the Hazelwood mine fire, 9 February to 31 March 2014 (publication 1598)
Estimating air quality in the early stages of the 2014 Hazelwood mine fire (publication 1599)
In the 14 months after the fire was declared safe, EPA continued to monitor and report on air, water and soil quality in the Latrobe Valley. The results are in these reports:
Hazelwood Recovery environmental monitoring reports – Executive summary (publication 1602)
EPA Hazelwood Recovery Program water, soil and ash assessment – Morwell and surrounds, February 2014 to May 2015 (publication 1600)
EPA Hazelwood Recovery Program water, air quality assessment – Morwell and surrounds, February 2014 to May 2015 (publication 1601)
The environmental monitoring conducted by EPA as part of the Hazelwood Recovery Program shows that there have been no ongoing changes to air, water and soil quality in the Latrobe Valley due to the Hazelwood mine fire. As a result, we stopped the soil and water sampling parts of the monitoring program in June 2015. EPA continues to sample water and soil in response to suspected and confirmed cases of pollution events, in addition to the water sampling being conducted as part of the Latrobe Valley Citizen Science program.
EPA is committed to an additional 12 months of expanded air quality monitoring in the Latrobe Valley. There are currently four air monitoring stations in operation at Moe, Churchill, and the south and east of Morwell, in addition to the permanent air monitoring station in Traralgon.
Find out more about our environmental monitoring and the Latrobe Valley Citizen Science program in the sections below.