- Incident Date
- 31 March 2023
- Locations Affected
- EPA region: Western Metropolitan.
341-351 Francis Street Yarraville and surrounds
EPA has received an increase in pollution reports throughout March 2023. They are about dust from earthmoving activities on the site. They are also about dirt tracked off site onto Francis Street.
Please keep reading for more information.
To date, EPA has taken strong regulatory action against The Winslow Group. They are a civil construction company operating at the former Bradmill factory site. The site is at 341-351 Francis Street, Yarraville. Our actions include ongoing legal notices and investigations into offsite dust impacts. EPA is also investigating potential breaches of the Environment Protection Act (2017).
What is currently happening on site?
EPA continues to inspect the site. EPA is also working with our co-regulators – Maribyrnong City Council and WorkSafe. This ensures a clear and coordinated approach to this issue.
The Winslow Group is doing civil construction and earthmoving works at the site. This is to prepare the site for development.
EPA has issued two legal notices and have been inspecting the former Bradmill site. The most recent joint inspection with Maribyrnong City Council was on 12 April 2023. EPA officers observed dirt tracked off site onto Francis Street. This was despite installation of extra rumble grids and some concreting and use of crushed rock on high traffic areas on the site. EPA will now require additional measures to be implemented to control dirt tracking off site.
Read the timeline below for more detailed recent updates.
On 5 April 2023, EPA issued a regulatory notice. This notice requires The Winslow Group to develop an air quality management plan that includes the installation of air monitoring equipment. This air monitoring equipment will measure dust particles in the air. This notice aims to monitor and reduce dust emissions from the premises. The deadline for notice compliance is 9 May 2023.
2022 – past regulatory action
EPA inspected the site late in 2022 in response to community pollution reports. EPA issued an Improvement Notice. It required installation of engineered controls to manage dust. Dust tracks off the site by trucks and other vehicles. EPA also provided compliance advice to improve general operations at the site. This is to reduce risk of harm to local communities and the environment. EPA inspected the site shortly after providing advice. EPA observed initial compliance with the regulatory requirements.
2014 – environmental audit of the site
There is a Statement of Environmental Audit (6443-2) dated 14 March 2014. The audit is for the former Bradmill site. An independent Environmental Auditor conducted the audit.
How to report any further incidents
If you notice any dust issue in the area, report it as soon as possible. Notify us by completing a pollution report form. You can also email email@example.com or phone our 24-hour contact centre on 1300 372 842.
Try to include as much information as possible, including:
- characteristics of the dust
- wind strength and direction
- your location
Compliance and enforcement
Our compliance and enforcement approach is a mix of encouragement and deterrence. This is to motivate action. We escalate our response if a business is resistant, evasive or fails to account for its risks.
Improvement notices issued
- 23 March 2023 – Improvement Notice requiring further improvements to dust risk controls. Notice compliance deadline is 31 March 2023. EPA has observed installation of extra rumble grids. Failure to comply will result in EPA taking enforcement action.
- August 2022 – Improvement Notice requiring the installation of engineered controls to manage dust. Dust tracks offsite from trucks and other vehicles.
EnforcementEPA is currently investigating potential breaches of the Environment Protection Act 2017.
Responsibilities by organisationThere are many organisations that have a role in regulation. This is to ensure duty holders prevent and manage risks.
We regulate prevention or control of pollution. EPA also improves the quality of the environment. This includes regulating activities that may present a danger to the environment. One of the tools available to us is the licensing of certain scheduled premises. These premises may present a risk to the environment. EPA supports duty holders to comply meet environmental obligations.
For more EPA information
- Learn about how EPA provides guidance to the construction industry
- Resources for the construction industry sector.
- Learn how Victorian businesses are responsible for protecting human health and the environment.
Maribyrnong City Council has legislative oversight of municipal planning.
Planning permits have conditions to manage dust.
WorkSafe is Victoria’s workplace health and safety regulator. WorkSafe ensures employers meet their OHS obligations to create a safe work environment.
EPA’s practice is to make the results of investigations public as soon as possible. EPA has provided an update about recent regulatory actions to local community members. These are people who have reported pollution from the former Bradmill site.
Community information session
EPA will be attending a community pop-up event at Angliss Reserve on Friday 21 April 2023 from 1-2 pm. Go to Angliss Reserve near the corner of Francis and Roberts Streets, Yarraville.
Community health advice
Find out more about airborne dust and how it can affect your health. https://www.epa.vic.gov.au/for-community/environmental-information/environmental-public-health/airborne-dust-and-your-health
Air monitoring information
Visit the EPA AirWatch site where you can view current air quality for Footscray, Kingsville, Seddon and Brooklyn.
Reviewed 20 April 2023