EPA’s report on the effects of sealing Jones and Bunting roads, which was completed in October 2015:
Since 2008, EPA Victoria has been actively involved in reducing pollution and environmental impacts from the Brooklyn Industrial Precinct through significant regulatory efforts. The community has been our benchmark and has held us to account since we began working on odour and dust issues.
We set a strategy to address the issues of dust and odour from various industrial sources; these long-term solutions were about getting the right infrastructure in place.
As part of our commitment to making Brooklyn liveable, we publish annual air monitoring reports to the Brooklyn community. Monitoring began in October 2009 and we continue to report to the community as part of our commitment – we’re over five years in and we’re not leaving until it’s fixed.
EPA has used results from this program to flag air quality as an ongoing issue for residents and we have provided each annual report to local councils, VicRoads and industry owners in the Brooklyn Industrial Precinct.
EPA contributed to the development of the Brooklyn Evolution Plan, an award-winning strategy driven by Brimbank City Council that sets out the long-term vision for the precinct. Additionally, the Victorian Government has provided $1.85 million to support the sealing of Bunting Road and Jones Road near the Brooklyn Industrial Precinct.
We are directly regulating industry to improve its performance; working with council and VicRoads on infrastructure improvements; providing alerts to industry and government to allow active controls and to the community to help them manage their exposure.
To report offensive odours, waterways or air pollution call the EPA pollution hotline on 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC). Noise reports should be directed to local government customer service centres.
Dealing with air pollution
We monitor for small airborne particles – those less than 10 micrometers in diameter (PM10) which indicates windblown dust, with a fixed air monitoring station.
We compare PM10 against state and national air quality objectives and goals. These objectives are set at levels that are designed to protect human health and wellbeing. The goals, expressed as a maximum number of poor air quality days per year, are used to guide strategies for the management of activities affecting our air quality.
Currently, 27 pollution abatement notices are in force on dust-producing industry in Brooklyn and Tottenham. More than 50 dust notices have been served on industry since 2010.
The notices require companies to have dust management plans in place i.e. controls on vehicle movements and other onsite activities to minimise dust while the companies put more permanent engineered controls including; sealing of surfaces and controls for vehicles leaving premises (like wheel washes).
EPA is also working proactively with VicRoads, Brimbank, Maribyrnong and Hobsons Bay to get road improvement works completed to reduce dust from these sources as well. On days of predicted exceedances, EPA issues alerts to councils and businesses so that they can begin dust mitigation measures.
Brimbank City Council has abandoned both the Jones Road and Bunting Road Special Charge Schemes following the successful VCAT appeal against the Jones Road Special Charge Scheme (VCAT decision of 24 June 2014). The works to seal Jones and Bunting Roads were identified as key actions required for air quality in Brooklyn to meet national standards for PM10.
EPA has modelled a number of alternative solutions to address the environmental objective. While EPA’s preferred option remains for both roads to be sealed, modelling has shown that closing either Bunting Road or Jones Road and installing engineered controls on the other road would result in reduced PM10 levels.
EPA is currently engaging with Brimbank, Sustainability Victoria and other government and community stakeholders to ensure works continue to achieve the overall required environmental benefits.
Control of odour has improved in Brooklyn, and while it is an ongoing concern for EPA, odour reports are at their lowest since 1996.