Compliance and enforcement

Powercor Australia Limited (ACN 064 651 109)

  • Date of Offence Between 20 Apr 2009 and 22 Mar 2010
  • Type of Offence

    Cause or permit PIW to be transported on a highway from a premises or a place owned or occupied by the Company, where the vehicle used to transport the waste was not authorised by a permit to transport PIW on 20 April 2009, contrary to s.53B.

    Cause or permit PIW to be transported from premises or a place occupied by the Company in contravention of the regulations applying to the Company which require the identification of waste, making and keeping of records about the waste or the movement of the waste, the notification and reporting of information about the waste and the movement of the waste on 20 April 2009, contrary to s.53C.

    Cause or permit PIW to be transported on a highway from a premises or a place owned or occupied by the Company, where the vehicle used to transport the waste was not authorised by a permit to transport PIW on 22 March 2010, contrary to s.53B.

    Cause or permit PIW to be transported from premises or a place occupied by the Company in contravention of the regulations applying to the Company which require the identification of the waste, the notification and reporting of information about the waste and the movement of the waste on 22 March 2010, contrary s.53C.

  • Background of Offence

    Poweror Australia Pty Ltd engaged a number of contractors to collect and dispose of obsolete electrical equipment from various depots in Victoria. The electrical equipment included old transformers, a number of which contained waste oil that was partly comprised of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). PCBS are regarded as Prescribed Industrial Waste (PIW) for the purposes of the Industrial Waste Resources Regulations 2009. Those Regulations require the waste producer, transporter and receiver to ensure that a waste transport certificate accompanies each load of PIW, which must be also transported in vehicle permitted to carry PIW. EPA investigation revealed that on 20 April 2009, Powercor did not complete a WTC and the PIW was transported in a vehicle that was not certified for that purpose.

  • Remedial Action Taken by EPA None
  • Date of Court Hearing 25 Apr 2011
  • Date of Court Orders
  • Court Magistrate/Judge Not applicable
  • Court Location Not applicable
  • Proceeding Number
  • Reasons for Prosecutions In accordance with the Compliance and Enforcement Policy EPA was satisfied that an enforceable undertaking was an appropriate sanction because Powercor took active responsibility for the offence and the sanction achieved a more effective and long term environmental outcome than prosecution.
  • Court Orders Made

    On 25 April 2011, the Authority accepted Powercor Australia Limited (Powercor), proposal of an Enforceable Undertaking following three separate incidents involving the transport of prescribed waste without the necessary EPA permit approvals.

    Under the terms of the Enforceable Undertaking, Powercor commits to:

    1. Review policies and procedures relevant to the management and disposal of PIW.
    2. Train employees and contractors on the importance of correct disposal of PIW and contaminated soil management.
    3. Review contract formulation requirements – ensuring that the authority to raise contract documentation specifies the PIW performance and management requirements. 
    4. Ensure that arrangements are put in place to supervise all PIW waste dispatches at all Powercor sites. 
    5. Immediately assume that any soil or material affected by oil spilt from a Transformer is contaminated unless it can prove otherwise and manage it accordingly. 
    6. Investigate, and if feasible implement, a locking mechanism attached to waste skips containing contaminated soils which would prevent the removal of the skip without the company releasing the locking mechanism. 
    7. Pay the sum of $20,000 to the Ballarat Environment Network, $20,000 to the Hindmarsh Landcare Network for works and/or activities in or around Horsham area, and $20,000 to the Kowree Farm Tree Group.

    Powercor must engage an EPA appointed auditor to examine the content of the Enforceable Undertaking and review the company’s compliance with its terms.  The auditor must provide written assurance to the Authority that it has been successfully implemented.

    Powercor has estimated the cost of compliance with the Enforceable Undertaking to be approximately $100,000.  Powercor will provide to the Authority a detailed costing of compliance expenditure upon completion of the Enforceable Undertaking.

    The terms of the Enforceable Undertaking must be completed within 18 months from the date the Enforceable Undertaking is accepted and signed by the Authority.

Page last updated on 19 Oct 2016