EPA issues clean up notice for site of Campbellfield fire

Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has issued a notice that requires the clean up of the site of a large fire that occurred on Thornycroft Street, Campbellfield earlier this year.

The notice has been issued to the administrators of Bradbury Industrial Services, which went into voluntary administration on 9 July 2019.

Bradbury was operating a chemical treatment facility at the site when the fire took hold.

EPA Director of Regional Operations and Emergency Management Duncan Pendrigh said it was EPA’s expectation that administrators of the company would comply with the notice within the required timeframes.

“This EPA notice requires the removal of all chemical drums and containers and liquefied petroleum gas tanks by 20 September 2019,” Mr Pendrigh said.

The notice also requires the removal of all structures and wastes from the site by 1 November 2019.

Mr Pendrigh said the EPA notice was issued following the submission of a waste removal and clean up plan that had been put together by consultants engaged by the company.

“EPA is now satisfied that this plan can be put in action to remove any risks to human health and the environment that currently exist at the site. EPA’s notice formalises the actions required by the consultants to remove all of this waste and to take it to a facility that is licensed to receive it,” Mr Pendrigh said.

Four warehouses associated with Bradbury are currently under the control of a WorkSafe-led taskforce that is undertaking the removal of waste chemicals from these sites.

EPA is continuing to work closely with other agencies on various investigations, including its own investigation of breaches of the Environment Protection Act 1970. It is inappropriate to comment on specific aspects of current investigations; however, EPA expects charges to be laid later in 2019.

BACKGROUND

In mid-March, Bradbury Industrial Services was inspected by EPA and found to be storing more chemical waste than was permitted under its EPA licence.

EPA took strong and appropriate regulatory action and suspended Bradbury’s licence on 20 March 2019.

The suspension banned the company from accepting additional waste to its site, until it had processed enough of the existing waste to reduce the incoming liquid waste to a size that complied with the licence.

At the time of the company’s licence suspension it was estimated the company had 450,000 litres of chemical waste at its Thornycroft Street site, well beyond the limit of 154,000 litres imposed by its EPA licence.

The company was working towards compliance when the fire occurred and had reduced its stockpile to an estimated 330,000 litres.

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