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Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has fined an operator of a West Wodonga business $1,983 for storing waste oils and aviation fuel without a licence.

During a routine inspection EPA officers found stored waste motor oil, used cooking oil, oil filters from vehicles and kerosene-based fuel from aircraft, including some liquids kept in rusty, leaking drums. 

EPA North East Regional Manager Renee Palmer says the premises of Drum Traders Recycling in Trafalgar Street, West Wodonga, is directly across the drainage channel from nearby homes.

“EPA officers inspecting the site detected a very strong odour and found stains on the ground that suggested the spilling of hydrocarbons,” Ms Palmer said.

EPA officers took liquid and soil samples for testing and issued enforceable notices requiring a clean-up and a variety of pollution prevention measures. EPA will conduct follow up inspections of the premises.

“The business has been fined under Section 27 of the Environment Protection Act 1970 for occupying a scheduled premises where prescribed industrial waste residue and used oil filters were being stored, handled and reprocessed without an EPA licence,” Ms Palmer said.

EPA advised the operator to immediately stop accepting used oil filters and make sure all drums are kept within a bunded area that will trap any leaked liquids before they can flow off the property.

“The clear message to businesses is that if you fail to comply with EPA requirements to protect the community and the environment, you will be held accountable,” Ms Palmer said

Under the Environment Protection Act 2017 and the Infringements Act 2006, the operator has the right to have the infringement notice reviewed or be considered by a court.

Members of the public can report pollution by calling EPA’s 24-hour hotline on 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842).

Reviewed 24 August 2021