EPA Victoria (EPA) has today charged the company operating the Sunshine Landfill at Kealba and its three directors with breaches of the General Environmental Duty (GED) under the Environment Protection Act 2017.   

At the same time, EPA has issued the landfill operator, Barro Group Pty Ltd, a Notice to Show Cause why their licence to operate should not be revoked.  The company has until 14 November to respond to the notice before EPA makes the decision on whether to revoke its licence to operate a landfill at the site.

On 30 September 2022, EPA extended the current suspension on receiving waste at the landfill. That suspension and regulatory notices on the business remain in place while these new enforcement actions take their course. The regulatory notices issued by EPA require the company to continue remediation work on the site to extinguish the hotspots and put appropriate controls in place to stop them from happening again.

The criminal charges issued today alleging non-compliance with the GED have a maximum penalty of $1.8 million for the company and $360,000 for each director.

The GED requires that every Victorian in undertaking activities must reduce the risk of harm to human health and the environment from pollution or waste.   

“The decision to pursue charges for this landfill relate to smoke and odour caused by hotspots at the landfill impacting on nearby residents and the environment,” EPA CEO Lee Miezis said. 

“EPA is using the stronger powers it was given in the Environment Protection Act that came into effect last year to hold landfill operators and all business to account when they break the law and impact the community and the environment.” 

Odour from the landfill has been having an unacceptable impact on the lives of people living nearby for more than three years

“We will continue to take a strong approach to upholding Victoria’s environment protection laws,” Mr Miezis said.
For more information about EPA’s regulatory action at the landfill and other details, visit www.epa.vic.gov.au/for-community/current-projects-issues/kealba 

Reviewed 28 October 2022