Current issues

EPA actions on air quality in Brooklyn

EPA Victoria is actively involved in reducing pollution and environmental impacts from the Brooklyn Industrial Precinct. We are working with residents, industry, councils and other government agencies to improve amenity in the area.

Working with local government and the community

  • We are working with Brimbank, Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong and Wyndham councils to protect the Brooklyn Industrial Precinct local environment.
  • We have a representative on the Brooklyn Industrial Precinct Strategy Committee, and we are reporting on our enforcement work.
  • An Officer for the Protection of the Local Environment (OPLE) is based at Brimbank and Hobsons Bay councils to proactively identify and respond to dust, odour and other amenity concerns.
  • We contributed to Brimbank City Council's award winning Brooklyn Evolution Project, a strategy which sets out the long-term vision for the precinct.
  • We have been providing staff resources for the Brooklyn Community Representative Group, and its events, including open house days and town hall forums, since 2008. These events create opportunities for the community, industry, councils and government agencies to discuss issues relating to Brooklyn's community and environment.

Practical and engineering measures

  • A study we conducted in 2011 found that unsealed roads caused between 50 per cent and 83 per cent of dust emissions in Brooklyn. Bunting Rd contributed at least 23 per cent and Jones Road at least 8 per cent of airborne dust.
  • As a result of EPA working in partnership with VicRoads and Brimbank City Council,  Jones and Bunting roads are now sealed, removing a significant source of dust.
  • EPA's Dust Action Plan for the Brooklyn Industrial Precinct has been finalised. This plan will guide EPA to manage all sites that contribute to dust have engineering and management controls to minimise impacts on residential areas.

High-risk days

  • We use air quality forecasting to predict high-risk days for odour and dust. On high-risk days, we provide warnings to schools and businesses, and we require industry to undertake dust suppression measures.
  • On high-risk days, we prioritise deployment of EPA officers to Brooklyn or draws on the OPLE, for rapid response to pollution reports.

Working with industry

  • We monitor and advise several key companies to improve their dust and odour management practices.
  • We require companies to implement measures such as:
    • sealing high-risk areas of premises
    • taking appropriate actions to mitigate dust from their site
    • reducing dust from truck movements
    • modifying biofilters to reduce odour
    • keeping animal by-products contained, to prevent strong odours.

Investigation and enforcement

  • Our work includes regulatory and enforcement responses to pollution reports, trialling new technology such as camera-equipped drones to gather pollution evidence.
  • We have been taking enforcement action against several sites in the precinct, based on investigations.
  • We prosecuted a Australian Tallow Producers for air pollution offences in the Brooklyn residential area. The company was ordered to pay $200,000 to Hobsons Bay City Council for an environmental project that contributed to the Brooklyn Reserve Master Plan (under Section 67AC of the Environment Protection Act 1970) (December 2015). A park with a playground was built adjacent to Brooklyn Community Hall, which directly benefits the local community.
  • After repeated non-compliances on a range of issues, we suspended Western Land Reclamation's (WLR) licence to accept waste at its Brooklyn landfill until further notice.

Science and monitoring

  • We are trialing new technology, such as low-cost air quality monitoring gear.
  • We undertake proactive odour monitoring in the area to understand the types of odours experienced, to identify odour sources:
    • The odour monitoring survey, covers Brooklyn, Yaraville, West Footscray and Sunshine residential areas, as well as industrial sites in Brooklyn.
    • EPA officers conduct about 462 individual odour checks across 21 surveys (273 residential and 189 industrial points) each year.
  • We are currently conducting an odour monitoring survey in Altona North and Sunshine West to investigate impacts that may arise further afield, from Brooklyn-based industries.

Page last updated on 18 Jul 2019