EPA monitoring water runoff at tip
AS THE fire at the Lismore Resource & Recycling Centre enters it's ninth day, the state environmental watchdog has expanded its umbrella to encompass water quality.
Since Friday August 16, the NSW Environment Protection Authority has been monitoring the air quality following the fire which broke out at the Lismore waste facility in East Lismore on August 11, after mulch self-combusted on the site around 1am due to a combination of heat generated by the composting process, strong winds and low humidity.
Fire & Rescue NSW who have been spraying water on the smouldering mulch piles all week, commenced using a Hytrans pump on August 16, which allowed them to use massive ground monitors and to work on extinguishing the 35 tonnes of green waste more safely and efficiently.
An EPA representative said staff are monitoring water run-off at the Lismore City Council operated waste facility, to ensure the water does not end up in the environment.
"Fire water is being diverted via a leachate pond into the sewage treatment plant,” he said.
"EPA will be working with Lismore City Council at the tip site until operations are back to normal which could be some time.”
Meanwhile, as the state's workplace health and safety regulator, SafeWork NSW confirmed its investigation is ongoings.
"SafeWork NSW was notified of a fire at the Lismore Waste & Recycling facility at Whyralla Rd, South Lismore on 10th August,” a spokesman said.
"SafeWork NSW issued notices preventing access until inspected by a structural engineer and to cease work due to risks associated with fumes and smoke.”