National

Dangerous chemicals still in Vic warehouse

By AAP Newswire

Dangerous substances are among up to 10 million litres of chemicals found in barrels at a burned-out Melbourne warehouse, a year after an explosive blaze destroyed the building.

Victoria's Environment Protection Authority and Worksafe have ordered the owners of the Tottenham warehouse to clean it up by August next year.

The warehouse went up in flames in August 2018, sending thick black smoke across nearby Footscray, and forcing schools and businesses to close.

On Sunday the EPA and Worksafe announced its investigation into the warehouse had found that aerosols, solvents and paint residues remain at the site.

"Of an estimated 7-15 million cubic metres of waste to be cleaned up, around 7-10 million litres are estimated to be residual chemicals, including dangerous goods," the authorities said in a statement.

"The owner is required to provide a clean up plan by February 2020 to meet the August 2020 clean up deadline."

Both agencies are still investigating and promise to hold those responsible to account with "the full force of the law".

"However, the government stands ready to step in, if the duty holder fails to fulfil its obligations to clean up the site," they said.

About 140 firefighters battled the blaze when the warehouse went up in flames last year.

When the blaze continued burning for four days, firefighters borrowed equipment from Mobil refineries to try to extinguish it.