Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has fined one of the country’s largest waste transport companies after it was found to be transporting industrial waste in a vehicle without the right permits.
Veolia Environmental Services (Australia) Pty Ltd was fined over $7,500 for transporting prescribed industrial waste with an expired EPA vehicle permit and is now likely to face more inspections of its fleet.
The fine was the result of a joint EPA and VicRoads operation.
EPA Executive Director of Assessment, Tim Eaton, said EPA had inspected the vehicle at McDonald Road, Brooklyn with VicRoads officers and found its permit had been expired for over 18 months.
“The vehicle had just transported over 5,000 kilograms of prescribed industrial waste to a facility licensed to receive it but disappointingly, it didn’t have the right permits and documentation and should not have been on the road with that load at all,” Mr Eaton said.
Mr Eaton said the waste was known as sandy spent catalyst, which was the resultant waste from a process that involves converting crude oil into a product at an oil refinery.
“This involves prescribed industrial waste which would be detrimental to the environment if it were to escape from the confines of the vehicle that was transporting it,” Mr Eaton said.
“This could include contamination of any land, water or air that it came into contact with. There’s no doubt it would also have posed a public health risk.”
Transporting prescribed industrial waste without an appropriate vehicle permit is an offence under Section 53A of the Environment Protection Act 1970 and is subject to an infringement notice.
The Prescribed Industrial Waste guidelines are available on EPA’s website which are designed to support industry to comply with its obligations. The guidelines include details about obtaining or renewing an EPA vehicle permit.
Under the Environment Protection Act 1970 and the Infringements Act 2008, the company has the right to have the decision to issue the infringement notice reviewed or alternatively to have the matter heard and determined by a court.
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