Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) will attend the Elmore Field Days next week (4-6 October) to raise awareness among local landowners of the dangers of accepting contaminated soil (fill) on their properties.
EPA North-West Regional Manager, Scott Pigdon said EPA knew from its field work that landowners often accept fill material onto their land to fill disused dams.
“While this might seem like a good idea, the fill is often contaminated with construction and demolition waste such as bricks, timber and asbestos and chemical contaminants that landowners cannot see,” Dr Pigdon said.
“These contaminants may not only harm a landowner’s property and their family’s health, but also leave them with substantial clean-up costs,” he said.
In Victoria, it’s an offence under the Environment Protection Act 1970 to use waste as landfill and landowners may also find themselves facing fines or prosecution.
In 2014, EPA prosecuted an excavation company that dumped construction and demolition waste from the former Lalbert Hotel site onto a farm in Wangie.
The court action involved the excavation company, the former hotel owner and the farm owner who accepted the waste. The offenders were ordered to pay a total of $8,000 for their involvement in the illegal dumping as well as clean-up costs of approximately $13,000.
“Don’t accept fill if you don’t know where it’s from or what’s in it. It’s also important to check in with your local council to find out if a planning permit is required for filling activities on your land. Tell them how much fill you plan to take and where it will be placed on your property,” Dr Pigdon said.
For more information about minimising your risk of accepting contaminated fill on your land, visit EPA’s stand located at site 349 during the Elmore Field Days.
EPA aims to reduce the large-scale dumping of industrial waste across Victoria through its Illegal Dumping Strikeforce Program. Key to the program is changing industry behaviour and improving knowledge of the legal requirements for managing waste.
- What: Elmore Field Days
- Where: Elmore Events Centre, 48 Rosaia Rd, Elmore
- When: 4 – 6 October 2016
- Opening Hours: 8.30am – 5pm