Tuesday, 19 July 2016
Lismore City Council quarry fined for failure to conduct ground water assessment before rock extraction
A business unit of Lismore City Council, with an annual turnover of around $12 million and a licence to extract 600,000 tonnes of aggregate per annum until 2039, has been caught breaching council’s consent conditions.
NSW Dept.pf Planning and Environment, media release, 4 July 2016:
The Department of Planning and Environment has fined Blakebrook Quarry $15,000 for failing to undertake a ground water assessment before commencing extraction in the quarry’s South Pit, in accordance with their conditions of approval.
A spokesperson from the Department said compliance officers have liaised with the company on numerous occasions since 2011 about the failure to submit the required groundwater assessment, which was due by 30 June 2010.
“Despite the Department issuing a Notice of Intention to Give an Order in September 2011, a subsequent Warning Letter in January 2012 and a Draft Order in March 2013, the company has not submitted the required ground assessment,” a spokesperson said.
“Compliance officers have confirmed extraction of hard rock has begun in the South Pit without the ground water assessment, which must be approved by the Department.
“The Department has confirmed works in this pit have continued as recently as December 2015.
“In addition to the $15,000 penalty, the Department has issued an Order to the company to conduct monitoring, and provide the groundwater assessment by a specified date.
“Failure by the company to comply with the Order may attract stronger enforcement action which could include the commencement of proceedings in the Land and Environment Court.
“Our compliance officers conduct spot checks without warning, regular inspections and audits as well as work with companies to ensure they are sticking to the rules.
“The Department actively conducts compliance audits and also offers education and training.
“The Department can issue the highest on-the-spot fines in the country for breaches of conditions.
“The community is also encouraged to contact the Department with any concerns. Complaints will be investigated by the compliance team.”