Boral Resources (Vic) Pty Ltd (Boral) has been fined $30,000 and ordered to pay $142,000 in court costs for illegally accepting and storing 110,000 tonnes of industrial waste without a licence at a disused quarry site following an investigation by Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA).
Boral was fined without conviction after pleading guilty in the Shepparton Magistrates’ Court to occupying a scheduled premises and storing waste without a licence. The Court also issued a publication order requiring Boral to publish details of the offence in several major newspapers.
EPA’s investigation found approximately 110,000 tonnes of concrete waste was deposited at the company’s old quarry site located at 205 Quarry Road, Pine Lodge between February 2007 and April 2014.
Under the Environment Protection Act 1970 (EP Act), Victorian quarry sites must hold an EPA licence to accept industrial waste or a planning permit from councils to recycle. EPA alleged Boral failed to hold any approval or permit whilst permitting the industrial waste to be deposited and stored at the quarry site.
EPA Chief Executive Officer, Nial Finegan said the costs and fine awarded against Boral reflected the seriousness of illegally accepting industrial waste and EPA’s focus on detecting and prosecuting offenders.
“The law is clear around the disposal of industrial waste. Anyone who accepts waste without an EPA licence or council permit runs the risk of a significant fine,” he said.
In handing down her judgment, Magistrate Annabel Hawkins said the publication order would also raise industry awareness of waste disposal requirements and act as a deterrent.
EPA has an Illegal Dumping Strikeforce Program focussed on reducing the illegal dumping of industrial waste such as concrete, asbestos and contaminated soil.
In 2015–16, EPA issued 98 notices to stop receiving or to clean-up illegally dumped waste. EPA also served 17 penalty infringement notices for illegal dumping, which ensured that culpable receivers, transporters or dumpers of waste were held to account.
EPA urges members of the public to report suspected illegal dumping via its 24 hour pollution hotline on 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC) or at www.epa.vic.gov.au
PHOTO: An EPA officer standing in front of the concrete waste.