The NSW environment watchdog says initial tests indicate there’s no need be concerned about air quality in the Port Kembla area following a fire in an 80-metre chimney.
Large plumes of black smoke and flames could be seen billowing from a BlueScope Steel station in Wollongong’s south on Monday afternoon, raising concerns about toxic chemicals in the air.
However the impact on air quality was expected to be “relatively low” based on the results of initial monitoring conducted by authorities, an Environment Protection Authority spokesperson told AAP.
“This monitoring did not indicate anything of concern, however we are following up with BlueScope’s on-site monitoring this morning,” the spokesperson said.
“This was a relatively short lived event and we understand that while community was impacted by smoke early in the fire – the late southerly changed helped to blow smoke out to sea.”
The EPA will continue their tests on Tuesday while fire crews and engineers determine the stack’s structural integrity and whether it needs to be demolished.
The chimney’s steel frame has remained intact despite the collapse of its internal fibreglass casing.
Investigations into the cause of the fire continue.