We required the Kealba landfill operator to actively monitor air quality. So far there have been no issues of concern.
Odours can be a nuisance issue in the local area. The Kealba landfill hotspots may cause odours over the next few weeks. Our noses are sensitive and often pick up odour long before there is any health risk. In most cases, odours from landfill hotspots don't impact long-term community health.
If you feel unwell, you can:
You can contact us on 1300 372 842. We’re here 24 hours.
We monitored the air quality in Kealba from 2–17 December 2019. We’ve now required the landfill operator to continue to monitor air quality until there are no more landfill hotspots. We’ll use this information to make sure we can understand and communicate any risks to the local community.
The equipment at the site (two AreaRae units, one DustTrak unit, two MicroVol samplers, and two evacuated canisters) is measuring four key substances:
- CO – carbon monoxide
- SO2 – sulfur dioxide
- PM2.5 – fine particles
- VOC – volatile organic compounds, a group of carbon-based chemicals that easily evaporate.
This will help us to monitor any potential impacts on the local community – particularly to the site’s north and west.
During September 2020, there were 56 reports of odour:
35 reports of odour during business hours on weekdays
- 10 reports on weekends
- 11 were after hours on weekdays.
This follows a month-long trial when EPA permitted landfill operator Barro Group to speed up the cooling of excavated hotspot material by leaving it exposed to the air overnight.
We’ve reviewed the results of the air quality monitoring and found that they were not caused by the trial methods. The increase in odour is partly because works have progressed into deeper, older and hotter waste. This typically creates more odour.
We have now approved extension of this trial until 30 October 2020. This will continue under the EPA regulation. It will continue to include air quality monitoring and community engagement as required by the notice.
We’ve also required the landfill operator to show the local community its air quality monitoring results. These can be found on the landfill operator’s webpage.
So far, all air quality monitoring has found no issues of concern. You can report excessive odour to our 24-hour hotline – 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC).
Reviewed 14 December 2020