Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has issued two fines to a company allegedly responsible for illegal dumping in Cairnlea. The two fines total more than $15,000 and were issued to the company for failing to comply with statutory notices within the required timeframes.
The fines are in addition to an earlier fine issued to a company at a Carlton site, bringing the total to over $20,000.
EPA Metro Manager Daniel Hunt said the company was handed the two fines for missing a deadline to cover waste containing asbestos that was found by EPA officers at 93B Furlong Road in Cairnlea.
“The company had until 4pm on Thursday 27 October to cover all waste at the site and to provide EPA with a report detailing air monitoring for asbestos, which it failed to do,” Mr Hunt.
“The company has attempted to cover some of the waste at the site, but EPA officers inspecting the site today say all waste was required to be covered and was not. The company has now conducted air monitoring, which shows no asbestos fibres in the air.
“As a precaution, the Department of Education undertook air monitoring at the local primary school and no airborne asbestos was detected.
“EPA also fined a company with the same directors $7,500 earlier this week when it failed to adequately cover rubble at the Carlton site where the Corkman Pub was demolished, which takes the total fines issued to both companies this week past $20,000.”
Mr Hunt said the company now had until 4pm, Friday 28 October to comply with the notice and failure to do so would likely result in further fines being issued.
“If the requirements of a new notice served to the company this morning are not met, continued non-compliance could very quickly become quite costly for the company,” Mr Hunt said.
Mr Hunt said it was important to note that the fines were on top of pending legal action that was yet to commence.
“EPA is continuing its investigation to hold those responsible to account before the courts. Anyone who dumps construction and demolition waste, or permits its illegal disposal, faces a fine of up to $758,350 if prosecuted,” Mr Hunt said.
“In gathering evidence, EPA will be looking into a range of possible offences that have occurred under the Environment Protection Act 1970.”
Meanwhile, EPA officers conducted door knocking in the residential area surrounding 93B Furlong Road in Cairnlea yesterday.
“EPA, together with City of Brimbank officers, visited 72 homes in the area to answer any questions and to ally community concerns,” Mr Hunt said.
“Residents were reasonably concerned about the demolition waste containing asbestos being present in the vicinity of their homes, which is why officers visited these homes to reassure them that action was being taken to ensure the waste posed them low risk.”
EPA is continuing to work with WorkSafe, the Victorian Building Authority, City of Melbourne and City of Brimbank to ensure human health and the environment are protected.