A Kealba stone cutter has been fined more than $8,000 for allowing two unlined wastewater pools to drain into the stormwater system.
During an inspection in August, Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) found Ayres Rock Stone Pty Ltd (Ayres Rock Stone) had cut channels into their Malcolm Court factory floor to direct the runoff from stone cutting into the two pools.
EPA Metropolitan Manager Daniel Hunt said a plastic pipe drained the first pool into the second, which was over a stormwater drain.
“Samples of the industrial wastewater from the premises had high levels of Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) and suspended solids which means it had the potential to deprive fish and the marine ecosystem of vital oxygen,” he said.
“EPA ordered the company to install controls to ensure contaminated waste water didn’t enter the stormwater system.
“Ayres Rock Stone has since capped the stormwater drain, filled in the pools and installed a water recycling system.
“EPA will continue to inspect the premises to ensure they understand their obligations under the Environment Protection Act.”
Mr Hunt thanked those who reported the discoloured water at a nearby stormwater drain.
“Protecting the environment is up to everyone and I urge anyone who witnesses suspected pollution to report it to the 24-hour EPA hotline on 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842) so we can investigate,” he said.
“We want to be as proactive as possible in stopping harm from pollution and waste and will be working with all Victorian businesses ahead of a new General Environmental Duty being introduced on 1 July 2020 as part of the new EPA Act.
“The Duty will put the onus onto businesses and require people who conduct activities that pose a risk to human health and the environment from pollution and waste to take reasonable steps to eliminate or reduce those risks.”
Under the Environment Protection Act 1970 and the Infringements Act 2008, Ayres Rock Stone has the right to have the $8,060 fine reviewed or have the matter determined by a court.