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Landfill Enquiry prompted by Gas Leak

Gas Leak in Australia leads to enquiry by environmental watchdog

Potentially explosive gas discovered at a residential estate in Melbourne's south east has triggered an enquiry to investigate all closed landfill sites in Victoria, Australia.

A spokeswoman for the Environment Protection Authority, the state's environmental watchdog, said it was believed the dangerous methane gas leak from a closed Cranbourne tip into the Brookland Greens Estate was unprecedented in the state.

But she said a review would now look at all closed landfill sites scattered throughout Victoria, including the Tullamarine landfill that shut in May after a long-running community campaign.

"EPA is not aware of any other residential development affected in this way by a former landfill," she said.

"EPA is currently performing a review of landfills in Victoria to assess if any significant risk is posed from landfill gas emissions impacting on neighbouring properties."

Twenty-nine households have evacuated the Brookland Greens Estate after the Country Fire Authority last week warned that methane gas levels had reached explosive levels in at least one home.

A CFA spokeswoman said today 300 houses in the estate had been tested for methane gas levels since Sunday and none had been found to have dangerous methane concentrations.

She said all homes had now been tested and would continue to be monitored.

Author: Jo Amey