Following a comprehensive investigation, EPA Victoria has fined McKinnon
Earthmoving (VIC) Pty Ltd more than $6,000 for discharging highly turbid
stormwater directly into a tributary of Back Creek, Epsom.
EPA officers visiting the subdivision site in September last year found the
company to have deliberately built an earthen drain in order to discharge muddy
stormwater to the creek.
EPA issued an order to immediately prevent further discharges to the
environment and took water samples.
Sampling later confirmed that water being discharged from the premises was
highly laden with silt, and the risks to the environment were clearly visible
EPA’s acting North West Manager Scott Pigdon said construction companies needed
to improve their understanding of how sites under their control can pose
significant environmental risks.
“High silt loads in waterways can smother stream beds where aquatic animals
live and reproduce and also block out sunlight preventing the growth of aquatic
plants,” he said.
“Companies that don’t adhere to EPA’s directions unfortunately don’t leave
themselves any option other than enforcement action by the regulator.”
The construction industry is an area of strategic focus for EPA over the next
12 months. Sediment control guidance can be found at www.epa.vic.gov.au.
The company has 28 days to pay the fine or have the matter dealt with in court
or apply for a review of the decision.