Major emergencies involving hazardous materials include large chemical fires in populated areas causing the release of toxic plumes, for example, a major hazard facility or waste management facility.
The loss-of-containment of materials that are in storage or being transported could also lead to a large explosion or release of toxic pollutants to the environment.
Examples of hazardous material incidents in Victoria include:
- 2012 - Port of Portland 600T coal tar pitch spill
- 2012 - Wangaratta Nuplex chemical incident caused by an uncontrolled chemical reaction in a reactor vessel
- 2015 - Somerton tip fire occurred at a private refuse facility operated by Ecotec Solutions
- 2017 - Coolaroo SKM recycling plant fire
- 2019 - Campbellfield Bradbury Industrial Services hazardous waste storage facility fire
A parliamentary inquiry into recycling and waste management was established in March 2019 to inquire into the issue of the devastating industrial fires that have taken place as a result of the illegal or inappropriate stockpiling of dangerous chemicals.