Brick maker Selkirk Pty Ltd has been told to improve its monitoring program after failing to properly conduct tests of air emissions from its Ballarat North kilns. The company has been fined $7,929 for breaching its licence conditions.
According to EPA South West Manager Carolyn Francis, an air emission stack test completed on 30 May 2017 by a third party contractor was not to Australian Standard. The sampling area was not compliant and so the test results cannot be relied upon and therefore did not enable EPA or Selkirk to determine compliance with their licence.
Ms Francis said Selkirk is required under their licence monitoring plan to measure air emissions from their kiln stacks to make sure the levels do not exceed the licence limits.
“There are strict standards that must be complied with to ensure accuracy of the results and the failure of Selkirk to adhere to those standards is a breach of their obligations,” said Ms Francis.
”EPA’s licences are in place to ensure industries that discharge to the environment are controlled in a manner that reduces the risk of harm to both the environment and human health whilst enabling industry to provide services and employment to the community.
“Selkirk has been licensed for many years and EPA would expect the company to be well aware of its obligations, under its licence, to the environment and the community. Selkirk has already planned works to address the issue and has been issued a notice requiring they be compliant with Australian standards and conduct follow up testing.
Because the sampling cannot be relied upon EPA cannot have confidence that there have been no impacts, although no pollution reports have been received about the premises. High fluoride emissions can cause vegetation impacts over time and Selkirk must conduct periodic inspections to assess any impacts.
Under the Environment Protection Act 1970 and the Infringements Act 2008, Selkirk has the right to have the decision to issue the infringement notice reviewed or alternatively to have the matter heard and determined by a court.