A stockpile of scrap tyres

VIC tyre sites checked for fire risks

EPA Victoria (EPA VIC) and local authorities will visit waste tyre businesses across Melbourne this week to ensure their fire risks are being managed ahead of summer fire season.

In a collaborative project with the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB), Brimbank City Council, Hume City Council and the City of Whittlesea, EPA VIC will visit waste tyre storage and processing sites in Melbourne’s north-west. The inspections form part of EPA VIC’s ongoing inspection program, and started on 22 November.

The multi-agency approach is in recognition of the fact that tyre fires can be complex to deal with and lead to other serious environmental impacts during and post emergency response, in addition to presenting considerable clean-up costs.

These impacts were seen firsthand when a tyre fire at a recycling facility in Broadmeadows earlier this year created very poor air quality conditions in the local area.

These inspections of waste tyre sites with relevant councils and MFB, as co-regulators, aim to coordinate compliance and enforcement activities, as well as reducing fire risks.

“Tyre stockpile fires are particularly difficult to control and generate hazardous smoke, but simple preventative measures can be implemented to reduce the risk of fire and minimise impacts. MFB has produced some clear simple guidance to help businesses prevent these risks,” said EPA VIC Metro Manager, Dan Hunt

“Earlier this year, we saw these impacts firsthand when a tyre fire at a recycling facility in Broadmeadows created very poor air quality conditions in the local area.

MFB’s Acting Chief Officer Paul Stacchino said that these inspections were both timely and necessary from a community and firefighter safety perspective.

“MFB will be partnering with EPA and local authorities to ensure that we identify fire risks at industrial sites, and we will work with facility owners and operators to minimise and eliminate factors that may pose a threat to both firefighter and community safety.”

EPA VIC requirements around end-of-life tyres are detailed on its website.