The Yarloop Bucket Brigade
The Yarloop Bucket Brigade was established January 2006, as one of two of the first Bucket Brigades in Australia (the other in Geelong). 27 residents from Yarloop and surrounding communities were trained by Denny Larson of Global Community Monitor, and five buckets assembled.
“The Bucket” was first designed by Ed Masry (lawyer who worked with Erin Brokovich) as a means for communities to take their own air samples for analysis. Denny Larson helped Ed Masry design a more affordable Bucket, which was approved by the US EPA. Larson has introduced the system to communities around the globe. Bucket Brigades have empowered communities to challenge polluters in court and have assisted in changing their Governments’ air quality standards. Analyses of all global Bucket samples are done by an independent laboratory in the United States.
In October 2006, CAPS signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Air Quality Management Branch (AQMB) of the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) to work together to compare ambient air sampling and analysis techniques. The agreement, which is a first in Australia, states that the Air Quality Management Branch pays for lab analysis and transport costs for up to 20 air samples taken by the Yarloop Bucket Brigade. In return, the Bucket Brigade takes concurrent air samples in two DEC Summo canisters, along with a bucket sample, during an emission event. One canister and one bucket sample is sent to a lab of CAPS’ choice, and one canister is sent to the DEC’s lab.
The AQMB also provides assistance in reviewing and commenting on analysis reports, and publishes results on the DEC website once both parties agree to its release. CAPS have ownership of their data, and will continue to independently monitor emission events, as well.