Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) will fine Central Goldfields Shire Council (CGSC) for organising an industrial waste burn-off at Flagstaff that involved the undetected presence of asbestos.
On 25 June 2017, CGSC organised the industrial waste burn off at Penney Lane, Flagstaff, and EPA was notified by a member of the public to the incident.
“The industrial waste that was burnt contained various wastes, but fibrous cement sheeting found on site was later confirmed to contain asbestos,” said EPA North West Manager Dr Scott Pigdon.
“Central Goldfields Shire Council did not conduct a thorough assessment of the waste materials to be burnt.
“EPA expects that all waste is disposed to an appropriate licensed or permitted facility and doesn’t tolerate the inappropriate burning of industrial waste materials.
“EPA has issued CGSC with a Clean Up Notice (CUN) and given the circumstances a fine of $7,929 is appropriate.”
Research has shown fires involving asbestos-containing materials do not result in levels of asbestos fibres in the surrounding area high enough to cause a risk to health. This is because during a fire the amount of asbestos fibres released into the air is relatively low, further information can be found at www.asbestos.vic.gov.au. The site has been both cleaned and cleared by a suitably qualified professional.
If anyone believes they have seen a local pollution issue, they are encouraged to call EPA’s Pollution Hotline on 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC).
Under the Environment Protection Act 1970 and the Infringements Act 2008, CGSC 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.