This morning the EPA gave their approval for a toxic soil facility in Altona despite a petition of 3,500 signatures from local residents opposed to the facility, and the absence of a Victorian government framework about the siting and operation of permanent soil treatment facilities.
The Hobsons Bay City Council has already written to the state government seeking that they establish a policy that identifies appropriate sites and environmental performance for these facilities, and processes to ensure ongoing independent audits and reporting mechanisms to the regulators and the community. Until that is done, the EPA should have refused to grant works approval.
The EPA is supposed to be the defenders of our environment. Today they’ve shown they’re the defenders of industry over the environment and the wishes of the community. In their haste to support this application the EPA has not even resolved outstanding issues such as appropriate buffer distances, end use and disposal of treated soil, ongoing independent environmental monitoring and audits with public disclosure of results, dust and odour issues, and the health and wellbeing of workers and residents in the area.