Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has fined a Mildura man nearly $2,000 over the illegal dumping of construction and demolition waste at Koorlong.
The fine followed a site inspection by officers from EPA and Mildura Rural City Council, who found significant volumes of concrete and bricks dumped at the site on Stonehouse Court, Koorlong.
EPA Regional Manager for the North West, Dr Scott Pigdon, says the dumped material is industrial waste.
“The site contained a significant pile of bricks and concrete, which from EPA’s experience can very quickly become an unofficial tip, a real eyesore, where all manner of waste is abandoned,” he said.
“And all of that means it’s a mess that affects neighbouring landholders and the community at large.”
EPA also issued the Mildura man with a Clean Up Notice (CUN), a legally enforceable order requiring the removal of the industrial waste to a suitably permitted recycling facility or an EPA-licensed landfill.
“A lot of construction and demolition waste can be recycled or put to new uses, but only if it undergoes proper disposal,” Dr Pigdon said.
“Historically, EPA has seen this type of behaviour as a potential cost-cutting exercise or providing commercial advantage over other businesses. But just like EPA, the general community doesn’t tolerate it, which is why so many of these successful investigations start with reports from members of the community,” he said.
EPA fined the Mildura man $1,983 for contravening Section 27A (2) (a) of the Environment Protection Act 1970, relating to the deposit of industrial waste at a site that is not licensed to accept it.
“EPA expects that anyone who generates or handles waste will have systems, processes and controls in place to dispose of the materials in the correct manner,” Dr Pigdon said.
“By obeying the law and treating neighbours and the community with respect, anyone disposing of industrial waste properly is also avoiding a fine, and the potentially far higher cost of the clean-up that follows,” he said.
Under the Environment Protection Act 1970 and the Infringements Act 2006, the recipient 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. Learn more on EPA’s website at www.epa.vic.gov.au/newlaws
Members of the public can report pollution by calling EPA’s 24 hour Hotline on 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC).