News State Victoria News Chemical stockpiles found at Melbourne warehouses

Chemical stockpiles found at Melbourne warehouses

A warehouse where chemicals were discovered. Photo: ABC
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An investigation into last year’s industrial inferno in West Footscray has uncovered “illegal” chemical stockpiles in seven warehouses in Melbourne’s north, according to authorities.

The Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) alleged “high volumes of chemicals” were being stored illegally at four neighbouring sites in Epping and three sites in Campbellfield.

The sites house so many containers it could take several weeks to identify and quantify all the chemicals stored inside, the EPA said.

The discoveries were made on Friday as part of targeted inspections by the EPA and other authorities as the environmental watchdog investigates the August 2018 West Footscray warehouse fire.

“The inspections detected concerning amounts of liquid chemical waste stored within warehouses at several sites,” the EPA said in a statement.

“The waste is contained and there is no immediate risk to the community.”

Around-the-clock security guards had been employed to secure the sites, it said.

Sandbags have also been placed around the doors of the buildings, as well as around drains on the street, in order to prevent any run-off from the stockpiles.

The EPA has also set up mobile air-quality-monitoring devices around the site.