Status
Active
Incident Date
1 July 2022
Locations Affected
Suburbs: Botanic Ridge, Settlers Run, Brookland Greens, Cranbourne

EPA Region: Southern Metro

This incident was last updated on 21 February 2024

Summary

EPA is investigating odour impacts emitted from the Stevensons Brothers Industries (SBI) landfill in Ballarto Road, Cranbourne.

In response to the community's pollution reports, we have:

  • surveyed the landfill site and surrounding areas
  • regularly inspected the site to ensure it complies with SBI’s operating licence conditions
  • conducted smell/odour monitoring by odour experts and authorised officers, according to standard EPA methods.

Our officers have confirmed the landfill is the source of different types of odour. One of these is hydrogen sulphide gas which is often described as a rotting-egg smell. Our public health scientists advise the gases have been detected at low levels and are unlikely to cause long-term harm. EPA has been visiting the site regularly and has identified several factors that have contributed to the smell at the landfill.

EPA has issued several notices to SBI since August 2022.

We are taking legal action in the Supreme Court against SBI Landfill Pty Ltd and its directors. We allege they have failed to comply with Victoria’s environment protection laws. Civil action commenced 4 August 2023.  This latest action is an escalation of regulatory action against the company, after odours were first reported by the local community in March 2022.

EPA will continue to inspect and regulate the site so they comply with our laws as quickly as possible. You can find more detail in our notices and enforcement section.

Please keep reading for more information, or to see a timeline of issues and actions at the site, jump to the latest updates at the bottom of this page.

Report odour

If you notice a strong odour in the area, please report it to us as soon as possible. You can:
 
Try to include as much information as possible, including: 
  • the type of odour (read our guide on how to describe smells
  • what time you noticed the smell
  • your location
  • the wind strength and direction
  • how the odour is impacting you

Compliance and enforcement

EPA’s compliance and enforcement approach involves a mix of advice, encouragement and deterrence to motivate action. EPA takes an escalating approach to enforcement. This means we respond more harshly if a business is resistant, evasive or fails to account for its risks.

Civil proceedings

On 4 August 2023 EPA commenced civil proceedings against SBI Landfill Pty Ltd and its directors. 

EPA alleges a range of serious non-compliances with Victoria’s environment protection laws. Included in the 5 allegations is that the SBI breached: 

  • the conditions of its licence by failing to:
    • provide the EPA with a copy of a Section 53V Audit Report by a date specified in their Monitoring Program
    • undertake or implement the recommendations of the Section 53V Audit Report
    • implement odour source controls and manage leachate so as to prevent offensive odours offsite
  • its General Environment Duty, under section 25 of the Environment Protection Act 2017 (Vic) (EP Act), by failing to minimise risks of harm, so far as reasonably practicable, from odour pollution to human health or the environment
  • its duty, under section 28 of the EP Act, not to engage in conduct that results in material harm to human health or the environment by failing to manage odour in its operation of the landfill which resulted in the emission of odour offsite causing harm to human health or the environment (here we refer to statements provided by members of the community in which they variously complain of suffering from headaches, sleep disturbance, nose bleeds, eye issues, breathing difficulties and/or nausea)
  • its duty, under section 32 of the EP Act, to notify the EPA of its odour pollution of the environment.

We also allege that the two directors of SBI (Paul Williamson and Simon Williamson) were involved in SBI’s breaches of the EP Act. If successful in proving these breaches, EPA will seek a range of relief from the Court including declarations, injunctions, civil penalties and a range of orders addressing compliance and operations at the site.

If proven by EPA, penalties could exceed $1.8 million for the company and $360,000 for directors for each allegation. 

A court date has been set for 23 September 2024.

Notices

Notices are a formal record that EPA has required a duty holder take action to remedy a risk of harm. SBI is currently subject to an Improvement Notice requiring them to implement controls at the site to prevent vandalism and arson, with a due date of 10 May 2024.

Further details of each notice are listed in the timeline below. 

Sanctions

sanction is a punishment or consequence if you don’t comply with the law.

  • 4 October 2022: EPA charges SBI with breaching section 63(1) of the Environment Protection Act 2017. 
  • 17 March 2023: EPA withdraws a charge of breaching its licence to operate a landfill against SBI in the Frankston Magistrates Court.

Following a review of an Environmental Audit Report into the site and further investigation by its officers,  EPA now views enforcement action, through the launching of civil proceedings, will have a greater potential to effect change than pursing allegations against SBI through the criminal courts. The withdrawal of the criminal proceedings now enables the EPA to pursue appropriate civil proceedings on time.


Community information

It is EPA’s practice is to make the results of investigations public as soon as possible. Please bookmark and return to this page to view the latest updates from EPA and please also visit SBI's news page.   

EPA runs a series of community information sessions. The last online session was on Monday 13 November 2023 between 6 pm and 7 pm. When the next session is scheduled, we will update this page.

Community health advice

Our public health scientists assess risks to health based on many factors, including the potential for harm from a landfill, how people are exposed, health effects from exposure, and those being exposed.

Our public health scientists advise the gases have been detected at low levels and are unlikely to cause long-term harm. You can read more on our assessment of the potential short-term health impacts of this incident.

Although it is an unpleasant smell, our public health scientists have advised there is no need to evacuate homes. We are closely monitoring the site and, if anything changes, we will update you as soon as possible.

Our investigations show the odour levels detected at SBI are lower than those likely to cause any long-term adverse health effects on humans, animals, or plants. However short-term health effects may occur for the duration of exposure.

Depending on the amount of exposure to hydrogen sulphide, effects can include: coughing, watery eyes, irritation of the eyes and throat, headache, and nausea. These effects usually go away quite quickly once exposure stops. Please see our advice on how to minimise your exposure to the odour.

EPA encourages residents to see your doctor if you are concerned about any symptoms or health issues. General practitioners treating community members that may be affected by the odour should refer to the SBI landfill odour factsheet for GPs.

About the odour

The source of the odour is SBI’s sole landfill cell, which is EPA-licenced to accept solid inert waste, like construction and demolition materials. 

The rotten egg smell is hydrogen sulphide (H2S). This gas can be produced when solid inert waste (such as construction and demolition materials) decomposes.

You might find that the smell is worse at night or in the mornings when the air is still, and it may seem better when it is windier. This is because hydrogen sulphide is heavier than air, which means it tends to collect close to the ground unless there is sufficient wind to disperse it into the atmosphere.

Winter can also make the smell seem stronger, because cold, damp weather keeps the odour even closer to the ground.

Issues at SBI that have contributed to the odour

Our investigations found:

  • insufficient cover over construction and demolition waste at the landfill
  • potential hotspots in the landfill cell
  • ·one or more blockages in the leachate management infrastructure
  • lack of an appropriate risk management and monitoring program (RMMP)
  • issues with management of landfill gas extraction.

The lack of cover has allowed rainwater to flow through and pool underneath the landfill. This increased the amount of odorous trace gases, which SBI failed to manage.

Air monitoring

EPA devices to measure hydrogen sulphide (HS) were at the site from July to November 2022. These were provided to determine if HS concentrations presented a risk of harm to the health of the community.   

Data from July to November 2022 showed 0.1-0.2 parts per million (ppm) of hydrogen sulphide (rotten egg smell) since 22 July to November, which is low. Sometimes, it was too low to be measured or was at 0.0 ppm. The data established the concentrations did not present a risk to human health. 

As the data from the devices did not contribute to our response on the ground, they were removed as they were needed for EPA’s bushfire season preparedness.  

We will continue to visit the site and surrounds with our expert staff and portable odour equipment to ensure levels continue to be monitored. 

How to minimise your odour exposure

The short-term health impacts of this type of odour will vary based on the level of exposure. To minimise your exposure, we recommend:

  • If the smell is noticeable outside, keep your windows and doors closed.
  • If you cannot smell any odour outside, ventilate your house by opening doors and windows to replace stale air with fresh air (if possible).

Responsibilities by organisation

At any large-scale site, like the SBI landfill, there are many organisations that have a role in regulation, to ensure the site prevents and manages any risks.

EPA

As Victoria’s independent environment regulator, our role is to check and enforce compliance with the Environment Protection Act (2017).

EPA is responsible for preventing or controlling pollution (including noise) and improving the quality of the environment. This responsibility includes regulating activities that may present a danger to the environment.

One of the tools available to EPA is the licensing of certain scheduled premises that may present a risk to the environment. The EPA ensures duty holders, such as SBI, complies with the obligations of their licence to minimise risk to human health and the environment.

Local council

The local council has legislative oversight of the planning requirements for the SBI site.

  • Learn about the City of Casey’s landfill planning approvals process.
  • Casey council is currently considering an application for amendment to SBI’s planning permit. Visit council's SBI Landfill update for more information.

Licence holder (also known as a duty holder)

A licence is subject to conditions. These conditions give rise to a number of duties and obligations on the licence holder. Some of these are general in nature, while others require the licence holder to do (or not to do) specific things. For example, SBI holds an operating licence that includes conditions that require SBI to report to EPA annually, as well as in the event any breaches are detected. 

Worksafe

Worksafe is Victoria’s workplace health and safety regulator that ensures employers, such as SBI, comply with their OHS obligations to create a safe work environment. Worksafe has been notified of the SBI incident and are carrying out their own investigations.

VicRoads

VicRoads manages the road network under the Road Management Act (2004). We understand there have been reports about the state of the road in the vicinity of the SBI landfill. The City of Casey council has been following this up directly with VicRoads.

 

For more information

  • Hydrogen Sulphide readings

     

    Hydrogen Sulphide readings: 22 July 2022 to 16 December 2022
    Date Number of readings taken Number of readings above 0.0 Maximum reading
    22 July 2022 366 0 0
    23 July 2022 576 8 0.2
    24 July 2022 576 18 0.1
    25 July 2022 576 0 0
    26 July 2022 576 0 0
    27 July 2022 576 0 0
    28 July 2022 576 0 0
    29 July 2022 576 0 0
    30 July 2022 574 9 0.2
    31 July 2022 576 0 0
    1 August 2022 576 0 0
    2 August 2022 576 0 0
    3 August 2022 576 0 0
    4 August 2022 576 1 0.1
    5 August 2022 410 0 0
    6 August 2022 288 0 0
    7 August 2022 288 0 0
    8 August 2022 287 0 0
    9 August 2022 288 0 0
    10 August 2022 288 0 0
    11 August 2022 288 0 0
    12 August 2022 288 0 0
    13 August 2022 288 0 0
    14 August 2022 288 0 0
    15 August 2022 451 0 0
    16 August 2022 364 0 0
    17 August 2022 287 0 0
    18 August 2022 288 0 0
    19 August 2022 288 0 0
    20 August 2022 284 0 0
    21 August 2022 261 0 0
    22 August 2022 251 0 0
    23 August 2022 277 1 0.1
    24 August 2022 290 0 0
    25 August 2022 288 0 0
    26 August 2022 288 0 0
    27 August 2022 288 0 0
    28 August 2022 288 0 0
    29 August 2022 288 0 0
    30 August 2022 296 1 0.1
    31 August 2022 288 0 0
    1 September 2022 288 0 0
    2 September 2022 288 0 0
    3 September 2022 288 0 0
    4 September 2022 288 0 0
    5 September 2022 288 0 0
    6 September 2022 288 0 0
    7 September 2022 288 0 0
    8 September 2022 274 0 0
    9 September 2022 288 0 0
    10 September 2022 288 0 0
    11 September 2022 288 0 0
    12 September 2022 288 0 0
    13 September 2022 288 0 0
    14 September 2022 288 2 0.1
    15 September 2022 288 0 0
    16 September 2022 288 0 0
    17 September 2022 287 0 0
    18 September 2022 288 0 0
    19 September 2022 288 0 0
    20 September 2022 288 0 0
    21 September 2022 288 0 0
    22 September 2022 288 0 0
    23 September 2022 288 0 0
    24 September 2022 288 0 0
    25 September 2022 288 0 0
    26 September 2022 288 0 0
    27 September 2022 288 0 0
    28 September 2022 288 0 0
    29 September 2022 288 0 0
    30 September 2022 288 0 0
    1 October 2022 288 0 0
    2 October 2022 276 0 0
    3 October 2022 288 0 0
    4 October 2022 288 0 0
    5 October 2022 288 0 0
    6 October 2022 288 0 0
    7 October 2022 288 0 0
    8 October 2022 288 0 0
    9 October 2022 288 0 0
    10 October 2022 285 0 0
    11 October 2022 288 0 0
    12 October 2022 288 0 0
    13 October 2022 288 0 0
    14 October 2022 288 0 0
    15 October 2022 288 0 0
    16 October 2022 283 0 0
    17 October 2022 288 0 0
    18 October 2022 288 3 0.1
    19 October 2022 287 1 0.1
    20 October 2022 288 11 0.1
    21 October 2022 144 37 0.1
    22 October 2022 288 0 0
    23 October 2022 288 0 0
    24 October 2022 288 0 0
    25 October 2022 288 24 0.1
    26 October 2022 288 0 0
    27 October 2022 288 0 0
    28 October 2022 265 0 0
    29 October 2022 286 0 0
    30 October 2022 288 0 0
    31 October 2022 288 0 0
    1 November 2022 288 0 0
    2 November 2022 288 0 0
    3 November 2022 288 0 0
    4 November 2022 288 0 0
    5 November 2022 288 3 0.1
    6 November 2022 288 70 0.1
    7 November 2022 288 95 0.2
    8 November 2022 288 108 0.2
    9 November 2022 288 121 0.2
    10 November 2022 288 69 0.1
    11 November 2022 288 0 0
    12 November 2022 288 0 0
    13 November 2022 288 49 0.1
    14 November 2022 272 0 0
    15 November 2022 0 0 0
    16 November 2022 216 0 0
    17 November 2022 177 0 0
    18 November 2022 288 48 0.1
    19 November 2022 288 8 0.1
    20 November 2022 288 0 0
    21 November 2022 288 0 0
    22 November 2022 288 0 0
    23 November 2022 288 0 0
    24 November 2022 288 0 0
    25 November 2022 67 0 0
    26 November 2022 0 0 0
    27 November 2022 0 0 0
    28 November 2022 0 0 0
    29 November 2022 0 0 0
    30 November 2022 216 0 0
    1 December 2022 128 0 0
    2 December 2022 288 55 0.1
    3 December 2022 288 127 0.2
    4 December 2022 288 172 0.3
    5 December 2022 288 6 0.1
    6 December 2022 288 12 0.1
    7 December 2022 288 6 0.1
    8 December 2022 168 0 0
    9 December 2022 288 0 0
    10 December 2022 288 66 0
    11 December 2022 288 69 0
    12 December 2022 45 0 0
    13 December 2022 139 0 0
    14 December 2022 288 0 0
    15 December 2022 287 2 0
    16 December 2022 170 0 0

Latest updates

  • 10 February 2024 EPA officers confirm odour

    EPA officers conducted an odour survey as part of an ongoing surveillance program in the area. They detected offsite odour impacts and confirmed the presence of off-site odours with SBI representatives in the vicinity. 
     
  • 7 February 2024 EPA issues an Improvement Notice

    Notice IMPN-00006050 is issued to SBI. This requires SBI to implement controls at the site to prevent vandalism and arson. 
     
  • 6 February 2024 EPA officers inspect SBI landfill

    EPA officers and landfill experts attended the site in response to the reports of odour on 3 February.  
     
  • 3 February 2024 SBI notifies EPA

    EPA officers responded to community pollution reports and confirmed that SBI landfill was the source of rotten egg type odours. EPA received a notifiable incident report from SBI at 1 pm regarding a potential failure of odour management infrastructure at the site.
     
  • 27 November 2023 EPA receives SBI waste records

    EPA receives Waste Tracker waste records from SBI demonstrating that the fire impacted waste from SBI has been disposed offsite to a lawful place.
  • 25 November 2023 EPA attends fire at SBI

    EPA is notified of a further fire at the SBI premises. Fire Rescue Victoria brought the fire under control and our priority response officers are on site. No waste was impacted by the fire and firewater was collected and removed from the premises. 
  • 14 November 2023 EPA refuses Authorisation of Discharges or Disposal application

    EPA refuses SBI’s application as it does not meet section s.157(2)(a) of the Environment Protection Act 2017, as the authorisation is not for the purpose of meeting a temporary emergency. 
  • 13 November 2023 SBI applies for Authorisation of Discharges or Disposal

    SBI applies to EPA for an Authorisation of Discharges or Disposal to allow disposal of fire impacted waste into their landfill cell. 
  • 4 November 2023 EPA officers check fire clean-up

    EPA officers are on site to ensure SBI manages the remaining water and waste so that there are no impacts to community and environment. 
  • 3 November 2023 EPA attend fire at SBI

    EPA was notified of a fire at the SBI site. Fire Rescue Victoria brought the fire under control and our priority response officers are on site. The fire was located at the transfer station and no pollution control equipment was damaged. 
  • 2 November 2023 fire at SBI transfer station

    • We were notified of a fire at the SBI site at around 11 pm on 2 November 2023

    •  Fire Rescue Victoria had brought the fire under control by the time our officers attended with Victoria Police at 12:30 am

    • The fire was located at the transfer station and not the landfill itself. No pollution control equipment was damaged by the fire. 

    • Approximately 40 to 50 tonnes of waste was burntSmoke odours from the site are likely to be short term. 

    • Our investigation into the events around this incident is ongoingEPA officers will ensure SBI manages the remaining water and waste so that there are no impacts to community and environment.
  • 20 October 2023 EPA revokes Notice to Investigate

    SBI is found to have complied with the requirements of notice NTI-00005293 and EPA revokes the notice.
  • 12 September 2023 EPA issues an Improvement Notice

    Notice IMPN-00005403 is issued to SBI. This requires SBI to apply to the EPA for permission to seek an amendment to their development licence. 
  • 1 September 2023 EPA issues a Notice to Investigate

    Notice NTI-00005293 is issued to SBI. This requires SBI to ensure that integrity testing of the primary leachate storage tank be completed by an experienced third-party tank inspector in line with the Risk Management and Monitoring Program for SBI and provide EPA with the results of the integrity testing of the primary leachate storage tank. 

  • 30 August 2023 EPA fines SBI

    EPA fines SBI $9,246 after the company failed to immediately notify EPA Victoria of equipment failure at its Cranbourne site.  Refer to the media release for more information.
  • 11 August 2023 EPA revokes an Improvement Notice

    EPA received a submission from SBI for an exemption of a development licence for the waste transfer station. The submission was assessed as adequate to comply with the requirements of the notice IMPN-00004602 and EPA revokes the notice.
  • 14 July 2023 EPA issues 2 information gathering notices

    Notices IGN-00003809 and IGN-00004994 are issued to SBI. These require SBI to provide documents regarding management of waste accepted at both the waste transfer station and landfill by 31 July 2023. Information requested includes details of the type of waste received, weighbridge dockets and CCTV Video footage of all cameras installed on the premises from 0700 hours on 3 July 2023 to 1700 hours on 10 July 2023. 
  • 5 June 2023 EPA issues an amended Improvement Notice

    EPA issues an amended notice IMPN-00004602 to SBI after an internal review of the notice has been completed.

  • 22 May 2023 SBI applies for an internal review of an Improvement Notice

    SBI applies for an internal review of the notice IMPN-00004602. EPA assesses the internal review application and upholds the initial requirements of the notice, amending only the wording of a reporting requirement. 
  • 5 May 2023 EPA issues an Improvement Notice

    Notice IMPN-00004602 is issued to SBI. It requires SBI to apply to EPA for, or exemption of, a development licence for their waste transfer station and to immediately begin maintaining incoming and outgoing records for waste received outside their activity plan specified within EPA Permit P000300289. 

    The application was required to be submitted on 15 August 2023.

     
  • 24 March 2023 EPA revokes Improvement Notice

    SBI is found to have complied with the requirements of notice IMPN-00003240 and EPA revokes the notice. The notice required SBI to update the Hotspot Monitoring and Management Plan (HSMMP) and to prevent and manage hotspots in the waste mass at the premises.
  • 13 February 2023 EPA revokes Improvement notice

    SBI is found to have complied with the requirements of notice IMPN-00003264 and EPA revokes the notice. The notice required SBI to allow an EPA appointed auditor to complete an audit of the landfill operations and ensure compliance with the updated RMMP.
  • 9 February 2023 EPA deems SBI's remedial work is not compliant

    SBI submits a report to EPA in response to notice IMPN-00003289. We deemed these works not compliant and we are currently considering further enforcement action.
  • 10 January 2023 EPA deems SBIs remedial work is not compliant

    SBI submits a report to EPA in response notice IMPN-00003354. We deemed these works not compliant and we are currently considering further enforcement action.
  • 28 December 2022 EPA extends Information Gathering Notice by one week

    • EPA accepts SBI's request (made on 23 Dec) to extend the date of the Information Gathering Notice IGN-00003749 by one week. The reason provided was to account for their holiday shutdown period. SBI must now provide the information requested to EPA by Friday 20 January 2023.
  • 21 December 2022 EPA issues 2 Information Gathering Notices

    • EPA issues 2 information gathering notices IGN-00003809 and IGN-00003749. They require SBI to provide documents regarding management of waste accepted at both the transfer station and landfill by 11 January 2023. Information requested includes details of the type of waste/material, amount accepted, if it is being stockpiled or disposed of, or used for other purposes onsite, and whether the waste levy has been applied.
  • 18 November 2022 EPA revokes the Environmental Action Notice

    EPA has revoked the Environmental Action Notice issued on 3 October 2022.

    This notice was issued when EPA suspended SBI’s operating licence. It ensured the operator fulfilled their licence obligations while that licence was suspended.

    SBI's licence suspension was "stayed" by VCAT on 20 October.

    This means the obligations of their operating licence apply. EPA considers that the Environmental Action Notice is no longer required.

     
  • 10 November 2022 EPA extension for SBI to provide updated Leachate management plan

    The improvement notice EPA issued on 21 September required SBI to provide an updated Leachate Management Plan by 11 November.

    On Wednesday 9 November SBI requested an extra week to review their consultant's report prior the submission. Given the importance of effective leachate management, EPA accepted this request. A revised improvement notice has been issued.

    SBI must now provide an updated Leachate Management Plan to EPA by Friday 18 November 2022.

  • 20 October 2022 SBI's request to stay the suspension of their operating licence is upheld by VCAT

    SBI’s application to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) requesting the suspension of its operating licence be “stayed” or made to have no legal effect has been upheld.

    This means SBI can operate their landfill until the outcome of its merits review challenge to the suspension of its landfill operating licence is decided.

    It is anticipated that the merits review challenge will be heard by VCAT in April 2023.

     
  • 10 October 2022 SBI challenges the suspension of its operating licence at VCAT

    SBI have filed a merits review challenge regarding the suspension of its operating licence with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).  

    SBI have also filed a VCAT application seeking an order to stay EPA’s decision to suspend SBI’s operating licence. This would mean the operating licence for the landfill would be made to have no legal effect until SBI’s broader merits review challenge can be decided.

    This is a challenge that only relates to  EPA’s suspension of SBI’s landfill operating licence. All current notices and the charge of breaching section 63(1) of the Environment Protection Act 2017 are separate and unaffected. 

  • 4 October 2022 EPA lays charge for breach of Environment Protection Act 2017

    EPA has charged SBI with breaching section 63(1) of the Environment Protection Act 2017.
    This charge relates to leaving waste uncovered and failing to comply with condition OL_L7 of their operating licence.
  • 3 October 2022 EPA suspends SBIs operating licence and issues an Environmental Action Notice

    • EPA has suspended SBI’s landfill operating licence. The landfill cannot operate or accept any waste until 30 January 2023. The associated transfer station is still permitted to operate, provided no material is moved to the landfill.
    • An Environmental Action Notice was also issued. This replicates the current conditions of SBI’s Operating Licence during the period of suspension. It ensures that human health and environmental risks continue to be managed.
    • As of 3 October 2022, SBI is subject to five improvement notices. SBI is still required to comply with these notices during the period that their operating licence is suspended.
     
  • 21 September 2022 EPA issues two additional Improvement Notices

    The first Improvement Notice IMP-00003354 requires SBI to fulfil their General Environmental Duty in relation to the management of surface water/stormwater. 

    • By 19 October 2022, SBI must install and implement contaminated water controls. These must ensure no contaminated water is discharged beyond the premises boundary. This includes water contaminated with waste or sediment.
    • By 26 October 2022, SBI must provide a report summarising the controls implemented to EPA. 
    • By 23 November 2022, SBI must engage a suitably qualified person to prepare a Stormwater Management Plan. 
    • By 4 January 2023, SBI must provide their Stormwater Management Plan to EPA. 

    The second Improvement Notice IMP-00003334 requires SBI to meet the conditions OL_L4.1 of their A05a operating licence

    • By 21 October 2022, SBI must engage a suitably qualified person to prepare a Leachate Management Plan. 
    • By 11 November 2022, SBI must:  
      • provide the Leachate Management Plan to EPA 
      • engage a suitably qualified person to conduct leachate sampling. 
    • By 30 November 2022, SBI must provide the results of the leachate sampling to EPA. 
  • 13 September 2022 EPA revises the previously issued RMMP Improvement Notice

    EPA has accepted the advice of an independent auditor regarding the previously issued Improvement Notice for SBI to meet conditions OL_L1 and OL_L2 of their A05a operating licence .

    The audit of SBI’s landfill operations and Risk Management and Monitoring Program (RMMP) will be conducted prior to any changes to the RMMP.

    By 30 November 2022, SBI must: 

    • Allow an EPA appointed auditor to complete an audit of the landfill operations
    • ensure compliance with the updated RMMP. 

    By 4 January 2023, SBI must: 

    • review and update their RMMP to show compliance with the General Environmental Duty (GED)
    • have the updated RMMP verified by an EPA appointed auditor.
     
  • 12 September 2022 EPA issues another Improvement Notice

    EPA issues notice IMPN-00003289 that requires SBI to ensure the functionality of the current odour control infrastructures and measures, including but not limited to the solar spark flare, landfill gas extraction system, leachate system and daily cover. 

  • 31 August 2022 EPA issues another Improvement Notice

    EPA issued another Improvement Notice IMP-00003240 that requires SBI to meet conditions OL_L15 of their A05a operating licence

    By 13 September 2022, SBI must:  

    • update their hotspot monitoring program 
    • provide a copy of the updated hotspot monitoring program to EPA. 

    By 13 March 2023, SBI must: 

    • provide EPA a report containing monitoring records as required by their hotspot monitoring program. These must cover the period 13 September 2022 to 13 March 2023.

  • 30 August 2022 EPA issues Notice of Intent and Improvement Notice to SBI landfill operator

    • EPA issued a Notice of Intent to SBI due to ongoing compliance issues and offsite odour reports. By Tuesday, 13 September 2022 SBI must demonstrate why they should not have their licence to operate suspended. 
    • EPA issued an Improvement Notice IMPN-00003264 that requires SBI to meet the conditions OL_L1 and OL_L2 of their A05a operating licence .

    By 30 November 2022, SBI must:

    • allow an EPA appointed auditor to complete an audit of the landfill operations
    • ensure compliance with the updated RMMP. 

    By 4 January 2023, SBI must: 

    • review and update their RMMP to show compliance with the General Environmental Duty (GED)
    • have the updated RMMP verified by an EPA appointed auditor.
     
  • 26 August 2022 Following reports of odour, EPA officers inspected SBI landfill in Cranbourne

    Odour surveillance at the site and surrounding residential area found no offsite odour. There have been a drop in odour reports from the community since midday Friday 26 August, 2022. 

    EPA has identified no immediate risk to the community from odours at the site. EPA will continue to conduct odour surveillance at the site during the weekend and next week. 

    Our air quality monitoring equipment remains in place as part of our ongoing data collection and assessment.

     
  • 26 August 2022 EPA lifts the prohibition notice in place

    EPA has lifted the prohibition notice that prevented SBI from receiving waste at its land fill site.  The decision to revoke the notice follows on-site inspections by EPA officers that determined required actions to manage odours had been implemented by the company, including the installation of gas wells to capture odour.  In making the decision EPA also assessed odour and air quality data collected by EPA and reported by the community.  

    The revocation of the notice means SBI is able to accept solid inert waste at the landfill site from 8am, Friday 26 August. 
     
    EPA issued the prohibition notice on 10 August to ensure the company addressed the immediate risks and impact to nearby residents from odour at the site.
     
    SBI had sought an internal review of the prohibition notice following their work to address the requirements put in place by EPA. This is no longer necessary.
     
    Regular inspections at the site will continue and EPA will take further regulatory action as required to protect the environment and local communities from impacts at the site. 
     
  • 24 August EPA identified insufficient daily waste cover on 7 and 8 August 2022

    EPA identified insufficient daily waste cover on 7 and 8 August 2022 in contravention of the SBI operating licence and have initiated investigations into this potential breach of the Environment Protection Act 2017.

    EPA’s remedial notice requires SBI to implement measures to capture and treat landfill gas. SBI has commenced installation of a landfill gas management system to capture and reduce odours. SBI must take steps to reduce odours from the site by Wed 24 August. EPA will inspect the site on Thursday 25 August to determine compliance with this requirement. 

    SBI must also report to EPA on compliance with the notice by Sunday 28 August. After this date, EPA will update the community on the assessment undertaken by our landfill specialists.

    EPA issued a prohibition notice on 10 August requiring SBI cease landfilling of waste. The notice has been complied with to date, and EPA will review this prohibition based on this week’s inspection and notice compliance assessment.

     
  • 5 August 2022 EPA installs additional air quality monitoring equipment

    Additional air monitoring equipment has been installed at a golf course near the landfill. The equipment monitors the amount of hydrogen sulphide (H2S) which causes the rotten-egg smell. You can find the air monitoring results earlier on this page.

  • 10 August 2022 EPA stops SBI landfill from accepting waste until it can control odour

    EPA Victoria issued Cranbourne landfill operator SBI with a prohibition notice, stopping it from accepting waste until odour issues at the site are properly managed.

    Refer to the media release for more information. 

  • 29 and 30 July 2022 EPA holds community information sessions

    Information sessions for residents were held at Mayone-Bulluck Family and Community Centre on Friday 29 July and Saturday 30 July.
  • 26 July 2022 EPA analyses the first air monitoring results

    The results of the air monitoring equipment from 22 to 26 July show that over the course of the last 4 days, most hydrogen sulphide concentrations were too low to be detected by monitoring machines. On 23 July 2022, there was one result of 0.2 ppm measured within a 5-minute period. These levels are not expected to cause long-term adverse health effects.

    NOTE: This low result does not mean that the smell was undetectable, as the human nose is far more sensitive than any monitoring device when it comes to detecting the presence of hydrogen sulphide. To overcome this, the EPA also carries out odour surveillance by individual officers who are trained in identifying odour and type. The officer's findings confirmed the reports made by residents.
  • 25 July 2022 SBI advises it is installing additional gas extraction systems

    SBI has advised it will install additional landfill gas extraction systems to capture and treat odour. The installation work may temporarily cause increased odour impacts to the community between Monday 25 July and Wednesday 3 August. SBI advised it is deploying odour suppressants and will time the works to minimise the potential for odour impacts on the community.
  • 24 July 2022 SBI completes removal of stagnant water

    SBI advised EPA that they have concluded trucking the site’s stagnant water (a known source of the odour) to an off-site location in Dandenong. The removal and processing of the wastewater is being carried out by Remondis, which has the relevant EPA permits and operating licence.
    SBI also confirmed there is equipment in place to remove stormwater to prevent further pooling at the landfill site. EPA is reviewing SBI’s stormwater management and will assess whether their controls are sufficient and reasonably practicable.
  • 22 July 2022 air quality monitoring equipment installed

    Equipment has been installed at a residential location near the landfill. The equipment will track hydrogen sulphide (H2S) which is the source of the rotten-egg smell. Results will be available on this page. We are also testing the surface and leachate bore gas levels.

  • 20 July 2022 EPA inspects the SBI site

    We inspected the site to review actions SBI are taking to remedy the issue. At the inspection, we identified additional issues relating to stockpiling of waste in the landfill and procedures for trucks exiting the site.
  • 10 June 2022 EPA identifies further causes of the odour at the SBI landfill

    Issues that led to the odour incident includes stagnant water, potential hotspots in the landfill cell, management of daily landfill cover, blockage in the leachate capture infrastructure, and management of landfill gas extraction.
  • 28 April 2022 EPA receives new odour pollution complaints and sends officers to the site

  • 22 March 2022 EPA receives community reports of an odour

    EPA first received reports of an unpleasant, egg-like smell in the Cranbourne area. EPA officers visited the area to ascertain the source of the pollution.
  • 25 November 2021 SBI commenced waste management services for the building and construction industry

  • 13 March 2020 SBI commenced a solid inert landfill operation

Reviewed 21 February 2024