Air monitoring sites finalised

The Environment Protection Authority Victoria and Latrobe City Council have signed a lease that ensures five EPA monitoring stations will remain in the Latrobe Valley until mid-2015 and provide up-to-date air quality information to local communities.

Following the Hazelwood mine fire, the EPA installed additional monitoring sites providing data to the community through its website.

The agreement reconfirms the three existing sites at Morwell, Morwell East and Traralgon and allows for two new stations to be installed in Moe and Churchill.

Council had called for the stations to be located at sites that would not affect the aesthetics of neighbourhoods.

Mayor Dale Harriman said council was happy with all the site locations.

However, Councillor Graeme Middlemiss said he and fellow central ward councillor Christine Sindt were not consulted.

“I’m a little surprised the contracts have been signed as there was yet to be discussions with Morwell councillors about the placement of the air monitors,” Cr Middlemiss said.

“I believe some councillors were consulted in relation to sites in other towns.”

An EPA spokesperson said it had been working very closely with council to identify the new sites and to ensure that the results of ongoing air monitoring were widely available and understood.