Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has partnered with Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) to better protect the community from smoke during major air pollution incidents.
EPA has made 10 mobile incident smoke monitors available, which have been strategically situated around Victoria to measure smoke levels during fire incidents and ensure equipment can be deployed to incidents faster.
Air quality information collected by the smoke monitors during incidents will then be used to inform the community about potential health impacts.
This information will also help EPA and other agencies make decisions about next steps when responding to an incident.
EPA’s provision of air monitoring equipment to VICSES strengthens the Andrews Labor Government’s ability to respond to incidents that affect air quality, and builds on recommendations from the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry.
The initiative was funded as part of a $51.2 million package to implement the recommendations of the re-opened Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry.
Air quality information during incidents will be available at .vic.gov.au and EPA’s
Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“This partnership between EPA and SES means that we can now deploy air monitoring equipment faster and better inform and protect Victorian communities during fire incidents.”
“It will help us look after kids, the elderly, pregnant women and others in our community who are more sensitive to the effects of breathing in smoke.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino
"We want our emergency services to work with authorities like the EPA to ensure the health and safety of all Victorians. A change like this will have a real impact on the ground and that is why it is so important."
Quote attributable to VICSES Acting Deputy Chief Officer Stephen Warren
“The equipment will ensure decisions relating to poor air quality as a result of smoke can be disseminated to impacted communities in a timely manner. VICSES volunteers have welcomed this new equipment and are keen to see the benefits that it will bring.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020