VICTORIA, AUS- The CFA’s contaminated Fiskville training ground clean-up will now stretch out to 2020 and the state environmental watchdog head says shutting the site was the right decision.

Contamination at the Ballan property is more widespread than initially thought and the CFA could not meet the EPA’s clean-up order deadline of February this year.

The CFA now has until the middle of 2020 to complete the clean-up, which involves treating, removing or containing contaminated soil, waste, waters and groundwater that “represent an unacceptable risk of harm or detriment to the environment”.

EPA chief Nial Finegan told the Sunday Herald Sun the EPA did not make the decision to stop training firefighters at the site in 2015 but, in the absence of certainty in the safety of the site, it was “probably a good call to close it”.

The site is contaminated with decades of build-up from toxic run-off from training water used at the site after burning fuels, which went into ponds that were never cleaned. Cancer-causing residues from burnt fuels, dumped chemical waste and heavy metals are among the contaminants.

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