Yarraville pollution to be measured

April 5, 2012

MTAG’s Martin Wurt photographed for the Maribyrnong Weekly story

According to Maribyrnong Weekly this week…

THE health impacts of diesel smoke from the thousands of trucks passing through residential streets in Yarraville each day will be measured for the first time in a decade.Environment Protection Authority Victoria will soon set up an air-monitoring station near the Yarraville community centre on Francis Street, Yarraville.

The EPA did not answer questions about the duration, method and reporting of the testing.

However, the Weekly understands monitoring will likely start next month and continue for a year.

It will monitor pollutants such as fine particles, nitrogen dioxide and benzoapyrene.

Additional noise testing and traffic counts will also take place.

Results for some pollutants will be published immediately online. The results will also appear in quarterly reports, and a final report will be published at the end of the testing period.

The most recent testing in Francis Street, in 2001 and 2002, found airborne particle concentrations high enough to impact on the health of residents with pre-existing health conditions.

The large numbers of trucks was cited as the likely source of the particles.

Maribyrnong Truck Action Group spokesman Peter Knight said the testing was long overdue.

“Our own health perceptions survey in 2005 suggested that cases of asthma are three times higher in the inner-west. The problem is, this has been framed as an issue about movement of freight and as a roads issue, but we’d say this should be talked about in terms of health and safety. The fact that the EPA is serious about it shows a shift in that thinking.”

Williamstown MP Wade Noonan said the community would welcome the EPA’s air-monitoring program and take an active interest in the results. “I’ve seen how the poor air quality results in Brooklyn have been used by the EPA to drive change, so this is a positive move. The real issue here is trucks and whether the Baillieu government will take Labor’s $40million for stage one of the Truck Action Plan off the table at the state Budget in May. My bet is that they will.”

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