EPA Victoria hopes fining a Werribee South farmer nearly $1500 for causing an
environmental hazard through dumping herbicide near Port Phillip Bay will act
as a deterrent to others.
EPA responded to a report of a chemical spill in a storm waterway on Duncans
Road, Werribee South in January this year.
Metro Manager Richard Marks said EPA inspected the premises and confirmed the
report after observing bright yellow liquid in a storm water drain.
Officers traced the spill to a farm on Duncans Road and viewed a container of
herbicide which was confirmed to be in the form of a bright yellow liquid.
Samples were taken from various locations including the on-site storm water pit
and off site drains on Duncans Road. Samples indicated elevated levels of
herbicide in the stormwater system.
“The stormwater drain on Duncans Road, Werribee South leads directly to Port
Phillip Bay and there was concern that if the herbicide reached the Bay that it
would harm the vegetation in particular sea grass beds,” Mr Marks said.
“Landowners need to responsibly manage their properties and use the appropriate
options for the storage and disposal of hazardous waste, such as manufacturer
returns, local council services and regional waste groups,” Mr Marks said.
EPA acknowledged the quick action of Southern Rural Water in containing the
herbicide to a section of the drain and then arranging for its removal.
The Werribee South farmer has 28 days to pay the fine or have the matter dealt
with in court or apply for a review of the decision.