A bad smell, bones and dead animals dumped at Shepparton North have cost a company an $8,000 fine from Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA).
EPA Regional Manager, North East Region, Emma Knights, says the investigation began with a complaint about a strong odour from the premises of Yarra Valley Stock Removers Pty Ltd, trading as Yarra Glen Knackery.
“Responding to that pollution report, EPA officers inspected a property in Daldy Road, Shepparton North, and found dumped industrial waste in the form of animal carcases,” Ms Knights said.
“They also smelled a strong odour characteristic of dead animals, that was easily detectable outside the property’s eastern and western boundaries,” she said.
“EPA officers observed animal carcasses and bones and carcasses that had been dumped in a hole in the ground and partially buried.”
“Odour was not the only concern, the property is close to the Goulburn River, and rotting carcasses can contaminate soil and groundwater,” Ms Knights said.
EPA has fined Yarra Valley Stock Removers Pty Ltd $8,060 for contravention of Section 27A (2)(a) of the Environment Protection Act 1970, which bans the dumping of industrial waste at a place that is not licensed to accept that kind of waste.
The Authority also issued the company with a Clean Up Notice (CUN); an official order to remove the carcasses for proper disposal at a facility that is licensed to accept that type of industrial waste. A follow up inspection showed the animal carcasses and skeletal remains had been cleaned up.
“This case is a clear demonstration that pollution can be reported by any member of the public and where an offence has been committed, those responsible for the pollution will be held to account,” Ms Knights said.
“This time, the cost to the duty holder has included a fine of more than $8,000, and the cost of the clean-up, as well,” she said.
Under the Environment Protection Act 1970 and the Infringements Act 2006, the company has the right to have the decision to issue the infringement notice reviewed or alternatively to have the matter heard and determined by a court.
Victoria’s new environment laws take effect on 1 July 2020 and introduce a general environmental duty requiring businesses and individuals to prevent harm to the environment and human health. You can learn more on EPA’s website, at: www.epa.vic.gov.au/newlaws
Members of the public can report odour, industrial waste dumping and other types of pollution by calling EPA’s 24 hour hotline on 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842).