Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has fined the Mitchell Shire Council more than $7700 for breaching licence conditions for the Mitchell landfill at 470 Seymour-Tooborac Rd, Hilldene.
EPA North East Manager Emma Knights said the offence involved failure to conduct an environmental audit of the landfill.
“As part of its licence conditions, the Council is required to have the landfill operation periodically and independently assessed by an environmental auditor, to give the community confidence that the landfilling activities are not harming the environment around the site,” Ms Knights said.
“Licence holders have obligations to operate within EPA licence conditions and when that doesn’t happen, they must be held to account to ensure community and environment are not affected,” she said.
“The audit should have been conducted by the first of September last year.”
“It was also noted that the Council had not implemented all of the recommendations from the previous environmental audit conducted in September 2015.”
The penalty for the infringement is $7773. Anyone who breaches licence conditions under the Environment Protection Act can potentially face a fine of up to $380,568 if prosecuted before the courts.
“Under the Environment Protection Act, a licence for a landfill requires regular monitoring and environmental audits, with recommended management measures and a plan for putting them into action,” Ms Knights said.
“Those requirements are there to ensure the landfill operates with minimum odour, vermin or damage to the surrounding environment,” she said.
“The audit was completed on 22 May 2017 and provided several recommendations to Council.”
EPA encourages the community to report pollution to its 24-hour hotline on 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC) or by visiting www.epa.vic.gov.au