Morwell mine fire: air monitoring was lacking as pollution hit hazardous levels

Victoria’s environment authority ‘not really geared up’ for rapid response, says air quality expert

Air pollution was 10 times acceptable levels during the peak of the Morwell coalmine fire in Victoria, but scientists were unable to measure it accurately at the time, an inquiry has heard.

Staff from the states Environment Protection Authority (EPA) who were sent to measure air quality near the Hazelwood mine fire were using a tool that was not calibrated for coal fires when the smoke levels peaked on 15 and 16 February, the inquiry into the blaze was told.

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