A housing developer who failed to comply with Environment Protection Authority Victoria’s (EPA) demands to control silt leeching from their Pascoe Vale construction site has been fined nearly $8,000.
Kamata Homes Pty Ltd failed to put in controls to prevent soil washing off the site onto adjacent Grover Street and in to stormwater drains even though it was entirely preventable, according to EPA Metro Region Manager Dan Hunt.
“An EPA Authorised Officer issued a Minor Works Pollution Abatement Notice (MWPAN) to Kamata Homes on 5 June after observing the silt-laden discharge running off the construction site and in to the street,” said Mr Hunt.
“The MWPAN required controls to prevent sediment run-off as it was creating slip hazards on the footpath and the road surface before entering the stormwater drains.
“When the officers returned to ensure compliance with the MWPAN on 14 June, they observed controls had not been put in place, and that sediment was present on the footpath, in the gutters and stormwater drain.
“It is disappointing that the builder has ignored EPA’s requirement in a statutory notice and caused a mess on the street and drains. Anyone using that section of Grover Street would have had to put up with a muddied road surface and potentially worse if they lost their footing on the slippery surface. The discharge that ran in to the stormwater drain could have entered the local Moonee Ponds Creek which would cause environmental issues.”
EPA has clear guidance for the building industry and builders are expected to follow this advice prior to works, and any requirement from the local Council or EPA.
Under the Environment Protection Act 1970 and the Infringements Act 2008, the company 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.