Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has fined a Ballarat brick and tile maker after a kiln emitted higher than approved fluoride and chlorine compounds into the air.
EPA has issued an Infringement Notice to Selkirk Pty Ltd (Selkirk) for exceeding licence limits from their kiln, in contravention of the Environment Protection Act 1970.
EPA South West Regional Manager Carolyn Francis said that Selkirk alerted EPA that scheduled kiln testing results, undertaken in February, had revealed emissions of fluoride and chlorine beyond the licence limits. The results were approximately 30 per cent higher than permitted in their licence.
“EPA has set licence limits to ensure businesses operate and maintain their plants in a way that keeps environmental impacts to a minimum,” Ms Francis said.
High fluoride emissions can cause damage to vegetation over time and high chlorine emissions can cause irritation. EPA received no pollution reports in relation to these events.
Selkirk advised EPA that recent improvement works to the kiln to improve for operation of the kiln may have unintentionally triggered the air emissions problem.
Selkirk said that they have engaged a kiln expert to investigate the cause and have also begun modification works to the kiln to address the problem.
Ms Francis said “businesses are required to regularly monitor licence compliance and environmental impacts as part of their licence conditions”.
“EPA will continue to work constructively with Selkirk to ensure that they meet their licence conditions through regular monitoring,” she said.
Selkirk will re-test the kiln to make sure kiln emissions have returned to within licensed amounts.
Under the Environment Protection Act 1970 and the Infringements Act 2008, Selkirk has the right to have the $8060 fine reviewed or have the matter determined by a court.