Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has issued Landfill Operations Pty Ltd (Cleanaway) with an official warning after it failed to immediately notify EPA of a methane exceedance incident at its Ravenhall site on 8 April 2016.
The methane exceedance potentially put the company in breach of its EPA licence, and it failed to immediately notify EPA of a licence breach which is an offence under section 27(2) of the Environment Protection Act 1970.
It took Cleanaway 12 days after the exceedance was first identified to notify EPA of the incident.
“As part of its licence conditions, the company is required to immediately notify EPA of any licence breaches at the site,” EPA Metro Manager, Dan Hunt said.
“This aims to ensure that EPA is aware of any possible impacts from the breach and is able to respond appropriately.”
“While the impact from the exceedance itself was marginal, Cleanaway should have informed EPA about the incident, however it took them almost two weeks.”
“Licence holders have obligations to operate within EPA licence conditions and when that doesn’t happen, they must be held to account to ensure community and the environment is not impacted.”
Mr Hunt said EPA was assessing the measures Cleanaway had put in place to address the methane non-compliance.
“EPA has also commenced an investigation into the possible cause of the methane licence breach which is ongoing at this time.”