Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has fined a Brooklyn company more than $7,700 for breaching industrial waste regulations when storing thousands of waste tyres at its site in Somerville Road, Brooklyn.
EPA Metro Manager Peter Kerr, said under the Environment Protection (Scheduled Premises and Exemptions) Regulations 2007, Goodyear & Dunlop Tyres (Aust) Pty Ltd, of 457 Somerville Rd, Brooklyn, is not permitted to store more than the equivalent of 5,000 waste car tyres on the site without an EPA licence.
“EPA officers found more than four times that amount stored on the site, which represents a potential fire hazard with the associated danger to people’s health and the environment,” Mr Kerr said.
“The Penalty Infringement Notice represents a fine of $7,773. The tyres stored at the site included a range of different types of car, truck and machinery tyres, and were equivalent to more than 20,000 car tyres,” he said.
EPA tightened tyre regulations in 2015 to ensure the Victorian public was better protected from the risk of tyre fires, vermin and other hazards from unsafe stockpiles.
“The guidelines require premises that store more than 40 tonnes or 5,000 waste tyres to obtain a licence from EPA,” Mr Kerr said.
The regulations also require on site firefighting resources, limits on the size of piles of tyres and minimum distances between and around the piles.
“Tyre fires are very hard to control and generate hazardous smoke. This smoke can cause a health risk to the community through the inhalation of particles and chemicals,” Mr Kerr said.
Anyone who illegally stockpiles tyres can face a fine of up to $373,104 if prosecuted before the courts.
EPA will be issuing an official notice to the company, requiring measures to ensure the tyre stockpile at Brooklyn is properly managed and brought within the safety requirements of the regulations.
If the community suspects someone is illegally stockpiling tyres or taking them to a place that cannot lawfully accept waste tyres, they are encouraged to contact EPA’s 24-hour pollution hotline on 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842).
To view EPA tyre regulations, please visit:
http://www.epa.vic.gov.au/business-and-industry/guidelines/waste-guidance/storage-of-waste-tyres-in-victoria or http://www.epa.vic.gov.au/our-work/setting-standards/waste-tyre-storage-ris