Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has fined a Melbourne company more than $7700 for stockpiling contaminated soil without a licence at its Simcock Avenue, Spotswood, premises.
EPA Metro Acting Manager Peter Kerr, said an EPA officer conducting investigations into the movement of prescribed industrial waste visited the premises of CPB Contractors P/L and found soil stockpiles containing bricks, rocks, bluestone, bitumen, asphalt and construction & demolition waste.
Mr Kerr said testing of soil samples showed the presence of Benzo(a) Pyrene, elevated hydrocarbon levels and elevated pH levels, sufficient to define the soil as Category B contaminated under the Environment Protection (Industrial Waste Resource) Regulations 2009.
“The company has stockpiled contaminated soil at levels categorised under the law as prescribed industrial waste, at an unlicensed site, without EPA approval,” Mr Kerr said.
“The company is working at 10 other sites and had been in contact with EPA for guidance after moving soil between sites, and should have been aware of its responsibilities under the Environment Protection Act (1970),” he said.
Under the law, companies must seek permission or exemptions from EPA before they store contaminated waste at sites that are not licensed by EPA.
Mr Kerr said EPA’s licensing and inspecting of sites like this is designed to control environmental risks and prevent hazards including the abandonment of waste and the leaching of contaminants into the soil and waterways.
The company has been fined $7773 and has now successfully applied for a temporary permit for storage at the site.
Members of the public can report pollution of the environment to the 24-hour EPA pollution hotline, by calling 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC). There’s more information at www.epa.vic.gov.au/get-involved/report-pollution