Industrial waste water containing raw chicken scraps that escaped to a stormwater drain at North Shore has cost the company responsible an $8,000 fine from Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA).
EPA Regional Manager South West, Carolyn Francis, says the investigation started with a report from a member of the public.
“EPA officers observed a flow of turbid water containing scraps of raw chicken discharging into a stormwater drain on Seaside Parade, North Shore,” Ms Francis said.
“They followed it back to the source, a poultry processing factory, where waste water normally sent for treatment through the sewerage system had been directed to a stormwater drain that led eventually to Corio Bay,” she said.
The company, Pindarri Poultry Pty Ltd, has been fined $8,060 and issued with an EPA Pollution Abatement Notice (PAN) requiring it to make changes to prevent the fault from occurring again, or face another fine.
“The discharge of industrial wastewater containing bacteria and nutrient-rich material like this can cause blooms of toxic algae and fish kills, as well as endangering people’s health and being unsightly,” Ms Francis said.
“Businesses must ensure that waste from their operations is managed in accordance with the Environment Protection Act 1970. Any process waters from an industrial or commercial activity are industrial waste and must not be discharged to stormwater.”
“It is the duty of every business to know their responsibilities. Information for duty holders on identifying and managing environmental risks from their operations can be found on the EPA website, at www.epa.vic.gov.au,” Ms Francis said.
Under the Environment Protection Act 1970 and the Infringements Act 2006, 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.
Victoria’s new environment laws take effect on 1 July 2020 and introduce a general environmental duty requiring businesses and individuals to prevent harm to the environment and human health. Learn more on EPA’s website at www.epa.vic.gov.au/newlaws
Members of the public can report contaminated water and other types of pollution by calling EPA’s 24-hour hotline on 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842).