Victoria’s environmental watchdog has suspended operating permits for a landfill that has been emitting an unpleasant odor for months.
Since March, more than 1,000 complaints have been made about foul odors in the Cranbourne neighborhood, prompting the Environmental Protection Agency to launch an investigation into the Stevensons Brothers Industries (SBI) landfill.
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Local residents have compared the smell to rotten eggs, saying it makes them sick and affects their quality of life.
On Monday, the EPA suspended SBI’s landfill operating permit until January 2023.
“The landfill cannot operate during the suspension,” the EPA said.
“If the company fails to comply with its license on January 30, 2023, including a lack of extraneous odors, further action will be taken. This could include a suspension extension, license revocation, or other sanctions.
“Ongoing monitoring of the site continues.”
The EPA said the smell was hydrogen sulfide. Exposure has been confirmed to cause “short-term” health problems such as coughing, headaches, nausea and watery eyes.
Cranbourne residents described the smell to 7NEWS, saying it resembled “rotten eggs, rotten carcasses, or methane.”
Many said they had to keep their windows and doors closed and avoided going outside.
“I have sore eyes, a runny and stuffy nose and a sore throat. I wake up really average every other day or three,” said resident Andrew Golden.
Last month, Environment Secretary Lily D’Ambrosio’s office said the smell posed no long-term health risks.
“EPA scientists have confirmed that there is no long-term risk to the health of the community and continue to update residents as they monitor implementation of solutions by SBI Landfill,” a spokesman said.
– With AAP
https://7news.com.au/weather/environment/epa-suspends-operating-licence-of-landfill-after-cranbourne-residents-complain-of-offensive-odour–c-8451923 The EPA suspended a landfill’s permit to operate after residents of Cranbourne complained of an unpleasant odor