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EPA investigating reports of nasty smell

26 Feb 2020

By David Schout

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is investigating reports from local Docklands residents of a nasty smell wafting across the Bolte Bridge.

NewQuay resident Julian Smith said a “urine-like” organic odour emanating from what appeared to be the Lorimer St industrial precinct has been sporadically detected at various times throughout the day and night for more than 12 months..

Mr Smith told Docklands News he had noticed a distinct increase in frequency of the smell of late, and had made several reports to the EPA.

The EPA confirmed it had received reports but, as yet, had not determined the source of the odour.

“Environment Protection Authority Victoria has received complaints from the public of occasional odour problems affecting the Docklands,” Western Metropolitan Region manager Stephen Lansdell said.

“EPA is looking into those reports but has not identified a clear source or type of odour.”

Mr Smith said he first noticed the strange smell when he first moved into his NewQuay apartment in 2017.

He said it would infrequently “assail the senses” for about an hour at a time, and would sometimes wake him up during the night when he slept with his windows open.

While the smell was initially sporadic, its regularity had increased.

“It seemed to grow in frequency so I started reporting to the EPA in January last year,” he said.

“I would only ever report when it affected me personally… the incidents increased in intensity and regularity through the year so towards the end of the year I got fed up. I noticed a correlation between the smell and the appearance of a steam discharge from an industrial area beyond the Bolte Bridge to the right of the pillars from my vantage point.”

Mr Smith said he would continue to send pollution reports to the EPA, and expected more residents to notice the odour should the current frequency of smell remain.

“I’m sure as autumn comes and the still days come, if they continue that activity more people will notice, because the odour will hang.”

Mr Lansdell said it was difficult for the EPA to find and prosecute an offending business or site due to the often-precarious nature of a smell.

He said they relied on members of the public reporting the issue as quickly as possible, from which their odour specialists could investigate.

“Odour problems can be difficult to confirm and trace to a source, and anyone reporting odour is encouraged to report it as promptly as possible, with a description of the odour and an accurate location, to assist in investigating its source,” he said.

 

 

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