Narrabri farmer reports drums hazard to EPA

A NARRABRI farmer who reported skin and eye irritations to the Environmental Protection Agency found his property shut down and at the centre of a hazardous materials incident on Tuesday.

A NSW Fire and Rescue spokesperson said the farmer had been out in a paddock on his Wee Waa Rd property around noon on Tuesday  when he felt his eyes and skin begin to sting.

Reporting the issue to the Environmental Protection Agency, which then reported the matter to Barwon police and Narrabri fire brigades, an area surrounding the farm was blocked off while the agency investigated the contents of five 200-litre drums found on the property.

HAZMAT crews attended in chemical suits and using breathing apparatus while the drums’ contents were contained.

After several hours the drums were found to contain bitumen-based product and were no longer considered a hazard.

The spokesperson said the farmer believed the drums appeared on the property after washing down in recent flooding from the Namoi River.

Officers from the EPA took samples of the drum’s contents for further testing.

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