Failure to clean up a Marengo property strewn with industrial waste has left a man more than $20,000 out of pocket after pleading guilty to two charges brought against him by Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) in the Colac Magistrates' Court.
The man was fined a total of $12,500 and ordered to pay costs of $8,300; he is still required to complete cleaning up the site at his own cost.
EPA South West Manager Carolyn Francis said the charges were laid after the individual had been given multiple chances to remove the industrial waste that was the result of the site being used as a concrete batching plant.
“The site was littered with crushed rocks, gravel, cement slurry, bitumen and a whole host of industrial waste that resulted from former works at the site,” Ms Francis said.
“EPA issued the man with several notices over a two-year-period that required him to remove this industrial waste from the site but he failed to comply with these, which is why the charges were laid.”
Ms Francis said the individual finally commenced removing the waste prior to the court hearing and is required to remove all remaining waste from the Marengo site.
“All of the waste and any contamination must be removed from the site and taken to a facility that is licensed to receive it,” Ms Francis said.
Ms Francis said the court result sent a message about the strength of EPA notices and that EPA would follow through and use all possible avenues to ensure compliance with statutory notices, including prosecution through the courts.
“It also sends a message that occupiers are responsible for following through on their waste management obligations, which can cause environmental risk and impact on neighboring properties,” Ms Francis said.
EPA encourages the community to report pollution to its 24-hour hotline on 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC) or by visiting www.epa.vic.gov.au