Brooklyn residents call on councils to find another solution to dust problems in wake of VCAT defeat

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Hobsons Bay Leader: Brooklyn residents call on councils to find another solution to dust problems in wake of VCAT defeat. Fiona O’Doherty. 20 August 2014

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A Brooklyn residents group has called on the Environment Protection Authority to shut down industries found to be emitting dust outside their boundaries.

The Brooklyn Residents Action Group will write to the EPA calling on it to require dust-emitting industries to pay for the installation of dust monitors at 25m intervals along property boundaries to measure compliance.

Industries failing to comply would be forced to close until they stopped emitting dust.

The call comes in the wake of a recent planning tribunal decision not to force industries to pay $2.5 million towards the estimated $3.1 million cost of sealing Jones Rd.

The case was brought by Transpacific Waste Management, operator of the now-closed tip in Jones Rd.

Brimbank Council had received $900,000 from the State Government towards the sealing of Jones Rd and nearby Bunting Rd but the tribunal decision has thrown both projects into doubt.

The residents group now wants this money to be used to fix dust problems.

The group is also calling on Brimbank Council to close Jones Rd, 50m north of the Federation Trail, diverting industrial traffic north onto Bunting and McDonald roads.

Group member Geoff Mitchelmore said something had to be done immediately to reduce dust in the interests of the health of Brooklyn residents and workers.

EPA readings frequently report poor air quality in Brooklyn and unsealed roads have been singled out as a major culprit.

“We need something in the interim … to reduce the dust while we wait for a decision on the East West Link’s western section,’’ he said.

Brimbank Council infrastructure and environment director Paul Younis said the council would consider the group’s proposals, which included some very good initiatives, and would review its dust control practices to see if they could be improved.

Transpacific would not comment on the group’s proposals but the EPA said its studies had shown that using just one mobile dust monitor could provide greater understanding of dust in the area.

EPA metro manager Lisa McLeod said the mobile monitor would begin operating within the next couple of months.

“In relation to prosecutions, the EPA will continue to review all matters in accordance with our compliance and enforcement policy,’’ she said.

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