Two Dandenong electroplaters and an engineering company have learned the hard
way that dumping industrial waste is an offence under the Environment
Protection Act 1970.
EPA Victoria has fined each operator more than $6000 on a range of offences
including dumping industrial waste to a site not licensed for depositing or
Southern metro Manager Bronwyn Green said an EPA compliance campaign in
November last year focused attention on electroplaters after high levels of
heavy metals were detected in the Dandenong Creek catchment area.
Storage was a hurdle for most operators, with the inappropriate storage of
hazardous liquid waste near stormwater drains on the premises of Malvern
Electroplaters in Windale Street earning then owner Thilak Soyza a major fine.
In November 2011, Advanced Electroplaters Pty Ltd was found to have seriously
threatened the environment and human health in not meeting the appropriate
requirements for containment of hazardous chemicals.
And finally, EPA investigated Omega Stainless Steel Products in December 2011
after a community pollution report and found hazardous liquid waste flowing to
storm water drains when it should have been captured and stored on site before
treatment or disposal.
“The fines are for creating an environmental hazard due to the way in which the
wastes were stored, and while EPA appreciates that two of the sites made
immediate efforts to find a solution, the operators are expected to provide EPA
with a detailed plan of how they will clean-up,” Ms Green said.
“It is our priority to ensure that companies deliver a high standard of
environmental performance,” Ms Green said.
“Companies have a responsibility to manage waste using best practice and with
due consideration for the environment.”
Ms Green said EPA valued input from the community to ensure that those that
cause pollution were found and held accountable.
The companies have 28 days to pay the fine or have the matter dealt with in
court or apply for a review of the decision.