A Ballan earthmoving company which illegally burned industrial waste that included aerosol cans and car batteries, has been fined $7,929 by Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA).
Coopers Hire Pty Ltd, Gillespies Lane, Ballan was reported to EPA South West Region by Moorabool Shire Officers in August when they notified EPA of smoke coming from the area.
EPA Officers inspected the site observing a pile of waste approximately eight metres long by five metres wide which had partially burnt and was still smouldering. A small skip bin was also burning.
EPA South West Manager, Ms Carolyn Francis said the waste included twenty litre drums, aerosol cans, glass bottles, car batteries, vehicle parts, oil filters, rectangular tin cabinets, sheets of steel mesh and lengths of timber and plywood.
“Burning of industrial waste is illegal; the smoke generated by burning this type of material can impact the community and has the potential to put the community at risk,” said Ms Francis.
“The company acted promptly to extinguish the blaze once EPA officers arrived, and has given an undertaking to EPA that they will dispose of waste in future by either recycling or removing to a permitted landfill.
“Businesses that generate waste have a responsibility to the environment and the community to manage waste legally and responsibly. Given they had failed that duty the fine is appropriate.
“As well as the cost of the fine, the company had to pay to remove the burnt material and dispose of it appropriately at an estimated cost of $500, so it would have been better to dispose of it correctly in the first place and avoid the fine.”
Under the Environment Protection Act 1970 and the Infringements Act 2008, Coopers Hire 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.
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