Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Boral Concrete at Maclean in NSW does the wrong thing and gets caught rehanded, fined $15,000

On 15 October 2019 a  member of the public alerted the NSW Environmental Protection Agency (NSW EPA) to the fact that cement slurry was being discharged into the Clarence River by Boral Concrete (part of the multinational Boral Limited group).

It is not known how long such discharges had been occurring before this environmental vandalism had been discovered.

Google Earth image of Boral Concrete by @pilligapush

, media release, 27 February 2020: 

NSW North Coast concrete plant fined $15,000 for water pollution incident 

A North Coast concrete batching plant that allegedly discharged cement slurry into a drain that flows to the Clarence River has been fined $15,000 by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA). 

A complaint from a member of the public alerted the EPA to the discharge from the Boral Resources (Country) Pty Ltd plant on the outskirts of Maclean, in the Clarence Valley region, on 15 October 2019. 

The EPA alleges that poor environmental management practices at the plant contributed to the discharge. 

EPA Director Regulatory Operations Regional North Karen Marler said the slurry appeared to have been discharging from the Boral plant for some time prior to 15 October 2019. 

“The EPA issued a Clean Up Notice that ordered Boral to take immediate actions to prevent the continuing escape of this material and to remove the slurry discharge from the stormwater drain to prevent further impacts,” Ms Marler said. 

“Subsequent EPA inspections confirm the clean-up and the actions taken to improve plant operation were effective.” 

The $15,000 Penalty Notice for pollution of waters is a reminder to all companies of the importance of monitoring internal systems and carrying out regular checks to prevent environmental incidents. 

Ms Marler said that community members play a vital role in preventing environmental harm. 

Reports of pollution can be made to the EPA’s 24-hour Environment Line on 131 555. 

Fines are just one of the ways the EPA can enforce compliance. The EPA can also use formal warnings, official cautions, licence conditions, notices and directions and prosecutions. 

For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy at https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/licensing-and-regulation/legislation-and-compliance/policies-and-guidelines.

This is not the first time Boral has been fined in Australia.

In 2019 the company was fined $15,000 for cement dust pollution at its plant in New Berrima, NSW; in 2016 it was fined $15,000 for excessive fluoride emissions on the NSW Central Coast; and in 2009 it was fined $5,500 for dumping concrete slurry on land in Numurkah, Victoria.

As Boral Resources it was also fined $15,000 for water pollution at its site at Marulan, NSW.

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