Hazelwood coal mine fire in Victoria.
Started February 9, 2014 and
burnt for 45 days.
ABC photo - Aerial of fire burning in Hazelwood open cut mine at Morwell
Posted Wed 12 Feb 2014, 1:54pm AEDT The fire has been burning underground since the weekend.
Morwell Coal Fire 9th February 2014:





















It would seem Victorian authorities were sitting on their laurels for far too long and have been caught napping with the Morwell smoke. This coal fire started on February the 9th. Anyone would think the way this pollution event has been handled it is the first coal mine fire in the region but I am told there have been others (see link above).
Smoke inhalation of this nature and duration will surely shorten lives.

The World Health Organisation has classified (all) outdoor air pollution to be carcinogenic, to cause lung cancer, and has a positive association with bladder cancer.
They have classified Particulate Matter (PM) to be carcinogenic and both these findings were at the highest classification of any cancer group, ie Group1.
Smoke is made up mainly of PM.

The trigger figures the authorities used before evacuation took place was way too high and evacuation should have taken place much, much earlier. The Health department seemed to be stuck on carbon monoxide levels. I believe the public has been misled by Health for not mentioning earlier the harm PM’s can cause.
It is not just about concentration or length of exposure…there is no minimum safe level of exposure.
Fact sheets  for: Ash Fallout, Smoke and your Health, Face Masks - Q&A , Rain Water Tanks, Coal Ash and Smoke in the House, Carbon Monoxide, were not uploaded onto the Health website until the 17th - 21st of February. The facts sheets visible now may not be the ones that were placed on these dates and there was a long gap before they were published .

The 24 hour ‘trigger figures’ authorities adhered to corresponded to enormous amounts of particulate matter being inhaled by Morwell residents.
The Precautionary Principle should have been applied.
Smoke of this nature is harmful in minutes and hours, not days and weeks that it took authorities to respond.
It is common sense that if people can smell pernicious smoke then they would have to be breathing it into their lungs.
Go here to read about the harmful effects of particulate matter and Morwell residents were exposed to very high levels of PM.
PM2.5’s travel deep into the lungs and stop there. Gaseous toxins attached to these particles are small enough to carry over into the blood stream and cause all sorts of other (usually not associated to the lay person) health problems. Authorities were actually allowing people’s lungs to filter the air.
From what I have seen people are wearing the wrong types of face masks for this type of pollution.
There can be a latency period of up to 20 years in some people for today’s smoke inhalation problems to show up.

According to Tasmania Fire Service we too were being subjected to Mainland smoke in Northern Tasmania. When wind conditions are right for this to happen particulates have had to travel over 350Km. The lifetime of PM2.5 particle pollution is from days to weeks and their travel distance ranges from 100 to greater than 1000 kilometres.
Toxic levels reached approximately 140gm/m3 on the EPA indicative air monitoring instruments in Launceston this week; a city of about 100,000 people.

No amount of spin by the authorities is going to lessen people’s health problems caused by this smoke. The smoke needs to be stopped at the source and in the meantime people need to be removed from it.
“Particulate pollution is the most important contaminant in our air...We know that when levels go up people die.” - Joel Schwartz., Harvard School of Public Health

The smoke has been described as ‘short term exposure’. Today (28.2.2014) it was described as ‘medium term exposure’. In actual fact it should already be classed as ‘long term exposure’.

It was in my opinion ill-informed for authorities to advise people to stay indoors during a fire of this nature and duration. The reasons can be found here and although in some places it reads 'woodsmoke' it is applicable because woodsmoke is made up primarily of PM 2.5 particulates; the same that were being inhaled at Morwell.
EPA Victoria:
Go here to view the EPA’s ‘near-real-time’ indicative air quality readings.

I have asked EPA Victoria how many NEPM ambient air quality exceedances have occurred and am still  
waiting for a reply.

On the 7th March I received the follow information from EPA Victoria:

“…we can advise of the following.
The 24 hour average PM2.5 concentrations exceeded the NEPM PM2.5 advisory reporting standard on  
11 days and the carbon monoxide rolling 8 hour average NEPM air quality objective was exceeded on 4  
of the 13 days (22/02/2014-06/03/2014) that air monitoring has been undertaken at the Bowling club in  
in Hazelwood road in Morwell South.

The 24 hour average PM2.5 concentrations exceeded the NEPM PM2.5 advisory reporting standard on  
9 of the 17 days (18/02/2014-06/03/2014) that air monitoring has been undertaken at Ronald Reserve in  
Morwell East. The rolling 8 hour average CO concentrations did not exceed the NEPM air quality  
objective at this site.”

These would be indicative readings. PM10 breaches have not been provided. This of course raises  
further questions.
Additional  information has now been asked for in relation to the air monitoring at Morwell.

10/3/2014 - Email to the EPA:  "Thank you for the PM2.5 and carbon monoxide information.
I notice you have not provided me with any Pm10 exceedances, could these be made available to me  
I also have some supplementary questions if that is ok?
In relation to these exceedances, can you please list for me what the 24hr averaged levels were on  
each of these days for both the PM2.5's and the PM10's?

The fire started on February the 9th I believe, and the first exceedance (measured at the Bowling Club  
was the 22/2/2014, and at Ronald Reserve on the 18/2/2014) leaves quite a gap.
Can you tell me please what the position was with air quality monitoring during that gap period?
Is there any data available please?"

13/3/2014 - From the EPA: "EPA reference number #192870 for the attention of the specialist Michael  
Ernest you spoke with previously that will be able to assist in providing this information."

20/3/2014 - Mr Michael Ernest (EPA Scientific Monitoring, McLoud location) telephoned to say he had  
just found my 10/3/2014 email request!

26/3/2014 -  Nothing heard; fed up with being given the run around. Further call to the EPA to speak  
with Mr Ernest or anybody else in that department. No one can help; so I was informed by EPA  
customer service they had sent another email to his work list for the information sought, and to phone  

28/3/2014 - Phoned EPA Vic. and actually got to speak with Mr Ernest. He will speak to the person he  
forwarded my 10/3/2014 email onto (or if unavailable to someone else) to find out what the position is  
and will telephone me back today.

This information should be made available in a reasonable amount of time to the public and it has not been.

2/3/2014 - Nothing heard. Further telephone conversation to EPA Customer Service to have the above  
request elevated in status.

3/4/2014 - Subject: Air Quality Information relating to Morwell
Date: Thu, 3 Apr 2014 05:27:48
From: @epa.vic.gov.au
“EPA monitors PM10 continuously using TEOM. There is PM10 reference method monitoring using Hi-
volume samplers at two long term trend stations at Footscray and Alphington on a one in six day cycle.  
PM10 via TEOM monitoring is conducted only at Traralgon. PM2.5 was the priority pollutant for  
monitoring the smoke. PM10 data was collected at Morwell South using a Partisol sampler but this data  
is still being processed.
The actual PM10 TEOM data is on EPA’s website as data readings; http://www.epa.vic.gov.au/Our-
Unfortunately this is a poor response from the Victorian EPA monitoring section (Mr. Paul Torre?). It  
really does not address much in relation to the questions asked. Further, a time would not be given as to  
when this information would be made available.
If a reasonable request comes in for information the EPA should not purposely hold onto that  
information until it suits them to release it much later. We know gravimetric data takes time to process,  
but that does not stop the other questions being answered.
PM2.5 is the preferred  particle size for monitoring smoke, however, at this time it is only an Advisory  
Reporting Standard  under the NEPM Ambient Air Quality Standards
Near-real-time readings from the Pm2.5 lazer particle counters can only be indicative readings because  
they do not comply with the NEPM AQ Standard.
There were gaps in air monitoring whilst Morwell people were being subjected to toxic smoke.

9/4/2014 - Reply from EPA Victoria with Attachment.
This attachment is an Agreement the EPA want signed which would prevent the information  
asked for being posted on this website.
The Agreement was not signed and further discussions have taken place since.  
I feel some of this information has been withheld unnecessarily for sometime now.
EPA advise the information will be put up on their website on Thursday 17th April......
You can read EPA's above reply here and negotiations that have taken place since to have this public  
information released.

30/4/2014 - Email from the Principal Legal Advisor, Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry, and
                     Email to EPA Victoria. Read them here, and

30/4/2014 - EPA releases some air quality exceedance data.
                 Read how Morwell and Taralgon air quality was breached.
ABC photo– 28.2.2014
Back to top
"This isn't good....we really shouldn't be breathing this." - John Innis EPA Tasmania air quality expert who travelled to Morwell.
Click on the Latrobe Valley Express photo above to read the full story.
Astha Foundation Victoria:
On the Asthma Foundation Victoria website:
Residents of Morwell -
The Asthma Foundation of Victoria in partnership with GSK, Bird Healthcare and The Pharmacy Guild of Australia  
are urging Morwell residents with asthma to monitor their condition closely. Residents are encouraged to visit  
their local pharmacy in Morwell to talk about their asthma and have the opportunity to receive a free reliever  
puffer and a spacer.
Please note, to receive the medication the following applies:
- Have to be diagnosed with asthma
- One per person
- For people living and/or working in Morwell
We will be reviewing this initiative early next week to determine the duration of this offer.

How many people missed out? How long before the 17th was this notice posted? Are those who were  
forced to relocate because of the smoke being given free inhalers? Are asthmatics being provided other  
free medication needed as a result of the smoke, not just the blue reliever?
Lisa's Comment Friday 7 March 2014 6:53 PM at Assistance for Morwell Residents: "Just to inform people  
that the Chemist Warehouse – Morwell, 2 Monash Way, are out of stock for the free reliever puffer and a  

The best advice the Asthma Foundation could give was to tell susceptible people to get right out of  the  
smoke, not just hang around and monitor. Air pollution causes cancer and every COPD attack causes the  
disease to progress.
Again read about indoor air quality to see if this is the right advice for people to be given when there is  
outdoor smoke of this magnitude and duration.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has determined that any length of casual exposure to particle  
pollution poses serious health risks, such as early death, cancer and cardiovascular and respiratory harm   
(American Lung Association).
Thick smoke from Victoria blanketed the northern part of Tasmania on the 25th February 2014
Photo courtesy Latrobe City Council website.
Clean-up. What you need to know.

Decontamination of the fine particulates is a specialised job and should be carried out by professionals; not left to a great many people to do on their own.
Refer to "Decontamination" above...
Dr Rosemary Lester - Chief Health Officer for Victoria
Subject: Re: Fw: Hazelwood open-cut coal fire at Morwell
Sender: <Rosemary.Stewart@health.vic.gov.au>
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2014 17:04:07 +1100
Thank you for your further email.
The community update page on the Department’s website was last revised on 17 March and will continue
to be updated as conditions change. The factsheets were uploaded between the 17th and 21st of February.
Some of the factsheets have since been updated to include additional and more current information.
The face masks supplied were P2 and were from a number of sources. Please contact the Latrobe City
Council regarding the face masks at latrobe@latrobe.gov.au or on 1300 367 700. See below: I have
attempted to do this.
The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is responsible for monitoring and reporting against air
quality standards. Please refer to the EPA website for information www.epa.gov.au or call 1300 372 842. 
See below: I have attempted to do this.
For information regarding cleaning up after the fire please call 1800 017 777.
I hope that this information is helpful.
Regards, Rosemary

Note:  Fact sheets  for: Ash Fallout, Smoke and your Health, Face Masks - Q&A , Rain Water Tanks, Coal
Ash and Smoke in the House, Carbon Monoxide, were not uploaded onto the Health website until the
17th - 21st of February. The fire started on the 9th.
The facts sheets visible now may not be the ones that were actually placed on the Health website on
these dates.

Health Victoria, Hazelwood Fire - Community Update 17 March 2014

"Long term health effects from air pollution usually occur after several years or a lifetime of exposure."

This is simply not true for all the following reasons:.
"Outdoor air pollution a leading environmental cause of cancer deaths." - IRAC 17/10/2013.
The specialized cancer agency of the World Health Organization, the International Agency for Research
on Cancer (IARC), announced today that it has classified outdoor air pollution as carcinogenic to humans
(Group 1).
After thoroughly reviewing the latest available scientific literature, world leading experts convened by the
IARC Monographs Programme concluded that there is sufficient evidence that exposure to outdoor air
pollution causes lung cancer (Group 1). They also noted a positive association with an increased risk of
bladder cancer.
Particulate matter, a major component of outdoor air pollution, was evaluated separately and was also
classified as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1).

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has determined that any length of casual exposure to particle
pollution poses serious health risks, such as early death, cancer and cardiovascular and respiratory harm.-
(American Lung Association). And,

Health effects from particulate matter occur after exposures of 2-4 hours or less in duration of wood smoke
at the 12 - 29mcg/m3 range  (Koenig et al. 1993)
(wood smoke consists mainly of fine particulate matter that was being monitored from the Hazelwood fire
by the EPA).  And,

Recent epidemiological research suggests that there is no threshold at which health effects do not occur.
Australian Government, Dept. of Environment - National Pollution Inventory (NPI)

Health Update -  Finally Acknowledging People Need to Relocate - February 28 2014

Health Victoria, Hazelwood Fire - Community Update 30 April 2014

"It is not necessary to clean the dust or ash out of your roof cavity to protect you or your family’s health.
The ash is non-hazardous and similar to that found in a typical fireplace."

This is wrong advice.
This dust will find it's way into the house through loose or cracked cornices or plaster sheet, light fitting
penetrations, or any other penetrations such as unsealed man holes, or around ducts or vents. It will easily
find its way through pine lined ceilings or similar.
The ash is hazardous when breathed. It would not be advisable to breathe in dust from your fireplace and
it is not advisable to breathe in Hazelwood fire dust.

Houses that have not been decontaminted in roof spaces should be made to be fitted with
permanent signs to say they contain  coal mine fire dust. This would protect people entering the
roof space, drilling holes into the roofspace, or purchasing the property at a later date. The Council
should be made keep a permanent register of properties affected.

"Long term health effects from air pollution usually occur after several years or a lifetime of exposure."
Again this is not correct. Refer to the previous Community Update comments.
Outdoor particulates would have been sucked into many homes as a result of negative pressure inside the buildings.
Many homes are going to have to be decontaminated before they are fit to live in after the smoke and ash stops. All soft furnishings will have to be hot laundered, walls will have to be scrubbed, hard floors will have to be scrubbed and sterilized. Roof spaces will have to be vacuumed.
Until decontamination, it is not advisable to place infants or let children play on carpeted floors as particulates settle out on them through what is known as the sink effect. The same can happen when a child is put to bed, or on a fabric couch, and these harmful fine particulates are unknowingly breathed in.
Everything has to be cleaned! This is a costly business when done properly by professionals.
Who pays for this?
2/3/2014 - In an email to Dr Rosemary Lester I asked,
"...c) Can you also indicate what decontamination program you propose to conduct on properties affected by the smoke/ash from the fire, and when will this be taking place?"
Latrobe City Council in Victoria:
21/3/2014 - To: <latrobe@latrobe.vic.gov.au>
Subject: Morwell coal fire - respirator masks.
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2014 23:14:02 +1100
I have been referred to you by the Chief Health Officer for Health in Victoria (Dr Rosemary Lester).
Could you please provide me with the following information:-
i) The make of any face masks issued to the Morwell community please?
ii) Model # ?
iii) Size and quantities?  Thank you.
28/3/2014 - To: <latrobe@latrobe.vic.gov.au>
Subject: Fw: Morwell coal fire - respirator masks. Urgent information please
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2014 15:24:48 +1100
This is to confirm my telephone conversation with your Mr. Lance King, Coordinator, this afternoon.
Unfortunately, Mr King is not in receipt of my email [above] and is to find out where it was forwarded to.
In addition to the information requested [above], I asked Mr King for the following please:
iv) The date/s they were issued?
Owing to the delay in a response to me I am asking if this information could be provided at your earliest convenience
Thank you.
31/3/2014 - From: Lance King
Sent: Monday, March 31, 2014 3:37 PM
Subject: Re: Morwell Mine Fire 2014 - request for information from Clive Stott regarding face masks provided to c...
In response to your request I can provide the following information
i)    The make of any face masks issued to the Morwell community please? Latrobe City passed on Drager and 3 M dust Masks
all P2
ii)    Model # ? As these masks were issued by a number of agencies and organisations there are various models and types
provided to the community that council does not have this relevant information.
iii)   Size and quantities? One size fits all. As these were issued by a number of agencies and organisations there are various
models and types provided to the community and council does not have this relevant information that you require.
Lance King
Coordinator Emergency Management
Latrobe City Council
1/4/2014 - To: Mr Lance King
Sent:  Tuesday April 1 2014
Good evening Mr. King.
Thank you for the information you provided. 
i)     Make:    Thank you. Latrobe City passed on Drager and 3M P2 dust masks 
ii)    Model #’s:    Re the above mask model #’s. Are you saying you do not know what masks these were that you passed on to
be issued out by the other agencies and organisations?
You say there were various models and types provided to the community. What were they?
This is like saying you gave away a car. You know it was a car but you don’t have a clue what model or type it was. You must
have some record of what you were doing, or you must have access to this information?
I am asking please what Model #’s the masks were that Latrobe City passed on? 
iii)    Size:    Thank you. One size fits all.
         Quantity: How many masks did Latrobe City pass on to be issued by these other agencies please? What quantity? 
iv)    Date of issue: I have asked separately what date/s were these masks passed on by Latrobe City to other agencies and
organisations for issue? 
Thank you. 
Issued At: 25/02/2014 3:21pm
There is a large volume of smoke across Northern Tasmania, particularly between the Tamar River, Fingal Valley and Musselroe Bay .
There is no immediate threat.
Current wind conditions has brought the smoke from fires on mainland Australia.
There may be visible smoke in the area for some time.
People travelling in the area should exercise caution if driving in smoke. Turn on your headlights and drive slowly.
If there is any fire activity causing you concern please report it to the TFS by calling triple zero (000).
Graph courtesy of EPA Air Tasmania.
Red plot = PM2.5  Blue plot = PM10
Ti Tree Bend is one of Launceston's air monitoring stations. Launceston is a city of about 100,000 people.
Gippsland and Morwell smoke from Victoria comes into Tasmania

1300 442 972
Mail: Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry
PO Box 3460
20 Hazelwood Road
Morwell VIC 3840
Email: info@hazelwoodinquiry.vic.gov.au
Go here for all the details.
Closing date for written submissions was the 12th May 2014.
Respirator masks:
Either none; wrong type; wrong size or wrong fit
8/4/2014 - To: <latrobe@latrobe.vic.gov.au>
Subject: Fw: Morwell Mine Fire 2014 - request for information from Clive Stott regarding face masks provided to the people of
Date: Tue, 8 Apr 2014 16:35:07 +1000
And follow up phone call on 9/4/2014

Good afternoon Latrobe City Council,
I am forwarding the email below again as I have not received a reply from either LCC or Mr Lance King.
Could you please advise where this matter is at?
Thank you.
Kind regards,

Sent: Wednesday, April 02, 2014 12:14 PM
To: latrobe@latrobe.vic.gov.au
Subject: Re: Morwell Mine Fire 2014 - request for information from Clive Stott regarding face masks provided to c...

Good morning Latrobe City Council,
Would you be so kind to make sure Mr. King received the following email sent yesterday and let me know?
Thank you.

Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2014 12:32 AM
To: Lance King
Subject: Re: Morwell Mine Fire 2014 - request for information from Clive Stott regarding face masks provided to c...

Good evening Mr. King.
Thank you for the information you provided.
i) Make: Thank you. Latrobe City passed on Drager and 3M P2 dust masks.
ii) Model #’s: Re the above mask model #’s. Are you saying you do not know what masks these were that you
passed on to be issued out by the other agencies and organisations?
You say there were various models and types provided to the community. What were they?
This is like saying you gave away a car. You know it was a car but you don’t have a clue what model or type it was. You must
have some record of what you were doing, or you must have access to this information?
I am asking please what Model #’s the masks were that Latrobe City passed on?
iii) Size: Thank you. One size fits all.
Quantity: How many masks did Latrobe City pass on to be issued by these other agencies please? What
iv) Date of issue: I have asked separately what date/s were these masks passed on by Latrobe City to other
agencies and organisations for issue?
Thank you.

Further health information:
Smoke is harmful   Asthma, COPD, Cancer  Tasmania  Indoor air quality  Australian Medical Students Asn. Submission

CONCLUSION: Combustion of coal, diesel fuel and wood is the likely source of air pollution that affects cancer risk on a large scale, through production of black carbon aerosols with adsorbed polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
7 March 2014 - Low level Hazelwood open cut mine fire smoke advisory - Latrobe Valley - EPA Victoria

See air quality exceedances further down this page.
"Chief Health Officer Rosemary Lester must announce an inquiry into the long-term health impact of the Hazelwood Mine fire on Morwell residents." say residents.
cleanairtas argues the study should be for 20 years, no less.
Click on the above photo of one resident to access more links on the mine fire and to sign the petition.
And the result?
Public pressure forces 10 year health study. Read about the health study here
cleanairtas points out there can be a latency period of 20 years for health problems to show.
Health Chief agrees study is not long enough. May 8, 2014 Latrobe Valley Express.
20 year health study agreed to.
Hazelwood Inquiry
Coal mine fires at Hazelwood are commonplace
What a disaster by authorities whilst people suffered
Long term effect of Hazelwood smoke unknown
It took EPA 5 days to start processing air quality data
Air monitoring was lacking as pollution hit hazadous levels
Minister rejects fire health risk
See where the coal mines are in Tasmania - Could similar happen in Tas?
Ombudsman says no to expedite delayed release of air quality information for
inclusion in a submission to the Hazelwood Board of Inquiry.
Continuing on from above:
"This isn't good....we really shouldn't be breathing this." - Latrobe Valley Express, Feb 27 2014
Tasmania EPA air monitoring staff are some of the best at their job and travelled to Morwell in Victoria to
conduct air monitoring at the height of the Hazelwood coal mine fire.
It has been determined 2.16GB of air quality data was relevant to Morwell and will not be released.
Despite attempts to have this information released under Right to Information and an Ombudsman review
this will not happen in time for the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry.
Although the RTI application went in in good time, the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industry, Parks,
Water, and Environment (DPIPWE) was in breach of the Act timewise which delayed things and now the
Tasmanian Ombudsman has said it will not expidite the review. There are 15 reviews ahead of this one and
they will not give a time for it's completion but in any case it will not meet the Inquiry deadline before the
findings are presented to the Victorian Government.
The people of Morwell and surrounding areas deserve better than this. They were exposed to shocking
levels of pernicious smoke and are now being prevented from finding out the true story during the course of
the Inquiry.
What are Inquiries for? Why do we have enacted legislation in Tasmania?
EPA Victoria tried to prevent the release of NEPM air quality exceedence days and levels but were
unsuccessful (see under EPA above).  Now Tasmania is going down the same path with the mobile
monitoring data.
This information has just been sitting on someone's desk here in Tasmania for months now because I
believe someone does not want it released before the Inquiry closes.
I feel there can be no other reason.
Read the proper process that was followed to have the mobile air quality data and information released:
Attachment-1, Attachment-2, Attachment-3, Attachment-4, Attachment-5, Attachment-6, Attachment-7,
Attachment-8, Attachment-9, Attachment-10, Attachment-11

July 18, 2014 - DPIPWE releases some information. 706Mb of photos and press releases but still not all of
the gigabytes of air quality data and information gathered by Tasmanian EPA Air staff during the fire in

July    31, 2014  - Ombudsman's correspondence
Aug.    8,  2014  - Reply to Ombudsman
Sept.16   2014  -  Letter from DPIPWE
Sept.19,  2014  -  Letter from Ombudsman
Sept.28,  2014   - Letter to Ombudsman
Oct.   3,   2014   - Letter from Ombudsman
The Ombudsman got it wrong. This was not all the information that should have been released. Far from it.
A second RTI application was submitted.
Oct. 10,  2014   -  Right to Information #2
Oct. 28,  2014   - Reply from DPIPWE -Diversion of Resources
Nov.  7,  2014   -  Record of meeting - Approx. 653Mb of electronic data was provided to me at the
conclusion of the meeting.
Nov. 11, 2014   -  Letter to DPIPWE
Nov. 12, 2014   -  Right to Information #2 closure

Nov. 7, 2014 - Watch the now released MP4 video presentation compiled by John Innis, EPA senior
scientific officer, Tasmania - (168Mb). This presentation video was prepared after Tas. staff returned home
(to show EPA Tas people a bit of what it was like at Morwell).

Sept. 1, 2014 - Coal Mine Fire finding presented to Victorian government tomorrow.
Sept. 2, 2014 - Inquiry report and findings are made public.
Go here to read the Board's Report and Recommendations
You may need to install the following free PDF reader to view these files:
32-bit: http://install.nitropdf.com/reader/en/nitro_reader3.exe
64-bit: http://install.nitropdf.com/reader/en/nitro_reader3_64.exe

Morwell  deaths: calls to reopen the Inquiry:
Sept.  9, 2014  Government agrees to all but one of the Recommendations - they said they would now they
say they won't.
Sept.12, 2014 Mine fire blamed for 11 deaths
Sept 13, 2014 Morwell death claims prompt calls to reopen the Inquiry
Inquiry reopens
Oct   26, 2015 Researcher questions planned burns
Oct   26, 2015 Morwell coal fire death data
Nov  01, 2015 Coal mine fires and human health - what do we know?

Environmental Justice Australia - Hazelwood mine fire as it happened.

Awards and Certificates of Professional Recognition presented at Clean Air Society of Australia and New
Zealand  (CASANZ) AGM on 28.10.2014. Read the Vic/Tas Branch Report here.
Morwell Neighbourhood House has compiled a list of various news media sources related to the Hazelwood Coal Mine Fire.
Click on their picture above.
A map that was later released under Right to Information to cleanairtas showing air quality results gathered in and around Morwell on the 23/2/2014 using Travel BLANkET.
Map courtesy of EPA Air Section, Tasmania.
    A Cry from the Heart : Morwell residents done and dusted - 18.11.2015

We are concerned about the dust load contamination in our Morwell houses which can find its way into
our lungs and illness this can cause to our families. They cleaned the footpaths and all we got was a
bucket to clean our houses.

Almost two years have passed and there has never been an audit done on the ash/ dust load in houses
here and it seems pointless to do a health study on people while they are living in toxic environments.
Given the history of asbestos dust you would think they might take it more seriously.

We fear a disaster with poor wiring and down lights being so popular.
The heat from down lights plus the dust could be a potential source of ignition. With all the coal dust in
the roof it would already be too late to do anything.

Our houses are mostly badly sealed which lets in the dust and coal ash. Our son has returned high lead
and arsenic levels with his last test. Blood testing for all residents is not even on the agenda. They are
simply studying us without cleaning up the contamination. We feel the authorities are treating us like
guinea pigs.
Seems like we have been done and dusted!

Here is another video taken yesterday from a roof cavity in Morwell South. This person is suffering ill
health and has never been visited by the council or any other authorities.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cp9lYABmgg4 (Turn on the sound).
This is what we have to live with.

We have been forced to set up a petition. Please sign it and pass it on if you will?
Thank you.



Air pollution from hazelwood coal mine fire contributed to deaths - 9 December 2015:
RESIDENTS choked by toxic smoke during last year’s ­Hazelwood coal mine fire have demanded an apology, after a report revealed air pollution from the 45-day fire contributed to an increase in deaths in the Latrobe Valley.
The damning fire inquiry report found the mortality rate in the four months after the fire ignited was 17 per cent higher than the same period in previous years. There was just a one in 12 probability this could have been by chance.
The report also criticised how the Health Department and former Coalition government handled the incident.

Dave Hollis asks the state and territory environment ministers to adopt the strictest NEPM standards when they meet on the 15th December 2015.   Click on the picture above to watch the video.
WARNING:  Pollution from coal burning most dangerous for your heart
Hazelwood coal mine operator facing workplace safety charges
Healy  Alaska:  Coal seam fires burn for years underground
Coal smog. What happened in London
Joint statement on the health effects of coal in Australia
Breaking News
It's official — Australia's oldest and dirtiest power station will close.
The French owner of Hazelwood, Engie, announced that the 1600 megawatt Hazelwood brown coal power station will close in March 2017.
12 April 2018 - Mine Fire Health study: GP visits and medication links.
The Hazelwood mine fire in 2014 has been linked to a spike in doctor visits by Latrobe Valley residents, as well as a jump in rates of prescription medicine being dispensed.
That is according to new findings from the Hazelwood Health Study released today.
The Monash University-led health study, which is being funded by the Victorian Government, found there were an extra 5,137 visits to GPs in the Latrobe Valley in a month when the coal mine fire was  alight in 2014  This included 405 cardiovascular visits, 174 respiratory visits and 286 mental health consultations.The increase in GP visits was attributed to the fine particles emitted by the coal fire four years ago.
Justice delivered for the Latrobe Valley - November 2019
It was a huge moment in court this month when the jury found Hazelwood Power Partners Pty Ltd Guilty  of 10 of the 12 charges brought by Worksafe Victoria for breaches of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004.
Earlier this year Hazelwood Power Partners Pty Ltd was found guilty by a jury of all the charges laid against it for breaches of the Environment Protection Act 1970 for causing air pollution.
We won’t know the extent of the penalties that the mine operators will receive until sentencing judgement is handed down, most likely next year.
May 19, 2020  Four operators of Hazelwood Power Station fined $95,000 each for pollution-related offences over 2014 mine fire
The four operators of the Hazelwood Power Station have each been fined $95,000 for pollution-related offences resulting from the 2014 mine fire.
The control room at Hazelwood mine. Photograph: Meredith O'Shea/The Guardian
March 28 2017  Click on the pic to see more photos
May 24, 2020 - Demolition of Hazelwood stacks
  Click on the pic to watch Sky News video
Doctors reject AMA chief’s stance on Hazelwood closure and health
While he said the closure of the coal-fired plant was “good news” for children with asthma, the elderly and people who suffered respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses, “there is also the health effects of unemployment that need to be considered”.
Mine fire health study results - so far, see below for latest information
The new:
In utero
exposure to a severe smoke event was associated with increased parental reports of respiratory infections and wheeze 2–4 years later. In utero exposure had a greater impact on long term respiratory health than early childhood exposure.
The implications: Episodic severe smoke events are common in Australia and elsewhere. Protecting pregnant women and young children should be central to public health responses to poor air quality.
Hazelwood coalmine fire has had lasting health effects on Latrobe valley residents, study finds - The Guardian 29/6/2021
Exposure to hazardous air pollution from the Hazelwood coalmine fire in Victoria has been linked to reduced lung function in people years after the 2014 fire, according to a new study.
Research conducted four years after the mine fire found that adults who had been exposed tofine particulate matter (PM2.5) had decreased respiratory reactance, a measure of the stretchiness of the lungs.
The lung function study forms part of a larger research project into the impacts of the Hazelwood mine fire, including on residents’ psychological and cardiovascular health, not only in Morwell but across the Latrobe valley.
Hazelwood Health Study - Latest information
The fire in the Morwell open cut mine adjacent to the Hazelwood power station blanketed Morwell and the surrounding area in smoke and ash for six weeks in February and March 2014. In response to community concerns about the long-term health effects, the Victorian Department of Health commissioned the Hazelwood Health Study.
A BUCKET and a bit of PAPER
That sounds like a plan.
IN JULY 2023...  Click on the pic to watch a 9 minute video
17.1.2024 - Health study shows no long-term impacts on lung function of babies exposed to Hazelwood coal mine fire.

How comforting to know we can all go out and breathe heavy smoke.
Morwell people will have something to say about this study in time to come.