Showing posts with label EPA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label EPA. Show all posts

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Quarry Solutions fined $15,000 for operating without an environment protection licence at Woodburn

Woodburn quarry site
https://seegroup.com.au/woodburn-quarry/

NSW EPA, media release, 20 Marxh 2020: 

Quarry Solutions fined for operating without environment protection licence

The Environment Protection Authority has fined North Coast company Quarry Solutions Pty Ltd $15,000 for allegedly operating without an environment protection licence. 

Director Regulatory Operations, Regional North Karen Marler said that records obtained by the NSW EPA indicate that Quarry Solutions allegedly extracted more material than is permitted without a licence at the Doonbah Quarry near Woodburn and Evans Head in 2018. 

“Quarry Solutions hold eight extractive activity licences with the EPA for works at other quarries and are therefore aware of licensing requirements. Furthermore, they were issued two Official Cautions in 2016 for the same offence. 

“While no environmental harm was caused by the company’s actions, it is important to obtain a licence to ensure environmental safeguards can be maintained and to ensure there is a level playing field for quarry operators,” Mrs Marler said. 

Quarry Solutions now has an environment protection licence in place for works at the Doonbah Quarry. 

In considering its regulatory approach the EPA took into account factors including that Quarry Solutions cooperated with the EPA and that no environmental harm occurred and also that the company had received two Official Cautions for the same offence. 

Quarries can extract smaller amounts up to 30,000 tonnes that produce lower potential environmental impacts without needing a licence. 

For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy at www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm

NOTE:

Quarry Solutions, part of the family-owned SEE Group, is a specialised quarrying and construction materials production company. Since 2008 it has owned and operated quarries under various arrangements in northern New South Wales and south east Queensland.

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

NSW EPA
, 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.

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Offensive odour leads to EPA inspection & pollution fine for Clarrich Farms piggery in northern NSW



Clarrich Farms Pty Ltd, a company registered in Queensland since April 2015, also operates a 2 site (Breeder-Grower), 1000 sow operation in Northern NSW region of Australia.

One of those piggery sites is on Jacksons Flat Road, Jacksons Flat near Tabulam in the Clarence Valley.

NSW EPA, media release, 23 January 2019:

EPA fines Clarrich Farms $15,000 for failure to manage waste

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined Clarrich Farms Pty Ltd $15,000 for allegedly mismanaging piggery waste at its Tabulam property.

EPA Regional Director North Adam Gilligan said Clarrich Farms piggery had failed to properly manage piggery effluent and other waste materials at the premises, posing a risk of pollution to the nearby Clarence River and breaching their Environment Protection Licence.

“The EPA carried out an inspection of Clarrich Farms in July 2018 in response to a complaint about offensive odours from the piggery. The inspection identified a large area on the premises that had been smothered by a thick blanket of effluent sludge,” Mr Gilligan said.

“Our investigations found that the previous day the licensee had pumped sludge and liquid effluent from a treatment dam onto the ground to manage odours emitted from the piggery.

“Analysis of sludge samples returned highly elevated nutrient and faecal contamination levels. Phosphorus levels were particularly high.

“During the inspection EPA officers found the sludge and effluent flowing towards the Clarence River, ultimately covering approximately 7.25 hectares of ground.”

The EPA required Clarrich Farms to immediately clean up the sludge, and implement ongoing measures to contain and reduce the elevated phosphorus levels of the impacted area of land.

The EPA is also liaising with Clarrich Farms on the broader environmental management of the facility including increased environmental monitoring requirements.

The EPA investigates all reports of suspected pollution and encourages anyone with a concern, or knowledge of environmental harm to contact the 24-hour EPA Environment Line on 131 555.

Penalty notices are one of a number of tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance, including 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 www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm

Monday, 14 August 2017

More bad news for NSW coastal forests


The Sydney Morning Herald, 7 August 2017:

A draft bill to revamp regulations for native forestry in NSW was slammed as "overly complex" and inequitable, and it failed to address "an inherent conflict of interest" in the oversight of state-owned Forestry Corp.

Documents obtained by Fairfax Media show the NSW Environment Protection Authority found the government's draft native forestry bill unfairly favoured Forestry Corp by remove licensing requirements for the corporation while maintaining them for landholders or industry seeking private native forestry.

It would also leave the corporation with powers unmatched for a state agency, including its protection from third-party challenges such as from environmental groups. 

"The inherent conflict of interest for a corporation in having a concurrency role for negotiating, revoking or changing the terms of their licence ... and the removal of third party legal rights, exists nowhere else in NSW legislation or regulation," the EPA's leaked assessment made last December shows.

Fairfax Media understands the EPA also sought legal advice on how to restrict "very intense" harvesting that the Forestry Corp had conducted for years in areas such as the blackbutt-dominant forests of the NSW mid-north coast.

The Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals (IFOAs) that permitted the logging were, however, found to be poorly worded, curbing the watchdog's ability to take legal action.

Even if it could act, though, the penalties available remain tiny. While other breaches, such as by coal mines, could attract fines of as much as $1 million, most forestry penalties were in the hundreds of dollars.

Many of the sanctions were decades old and although the cabinet had discussed a review of the penalties in 2014 – and agreed on million-dollar fines for forestry impacts on threatened species in late 2015 – it is yet to update them......

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

EPA terminates private forestry property plan after native forest destroyed in Collombatti near Kempsey NSW


NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA), media release, 9 May 2017:

EPA terminates private native forestry property plan in Collombatti

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has terminated a property owner’s authority to log a private native forest following the destruction of a forest at Collombatti near Kempsey.
The EPA investigated the land owner, the holder of a private native forestry property vegetation plan, and found that most of the native forest had been illegally cleared and replaced with a market garden. Sensitive areas, such as streams, were also cleared.
EPA Director of Forestry Michael Hood said EPA officers collected strong evidence against the property owner for land clearing offences.
“We confirmed the area of native forest on the private property had been deliberately cut down to make way for a lemongrass and chili market garden,” Mr Hood said.
“If a person’s authority to conduct a private native forestry operation is misused in this way, the first thing the EPA will do is cancel this legally binding agreement and then stronger regulatory actions should be expected to follow,” he added.
“The work done on this property had nothing to do with sustainable native forestry management.
“A private native forestry property vegetation plan requires that native forests, biodiversity and the environment are protected. As this native forest was not protected, further action is now being taken requiring the land owner to return the environment back to its natural state.
“The EPA is committed to proactively protecting native forest areas across NSW and we encourage ecologically sustainable harvesting practices. The EPA works with other government agencies when regulating the protection of native forests, waterways and the environment,” Mr Hood said.
The community can play an important role in helping the EPA. If you have a concern about illegal logging or knowledge of a particular incident, report it to the Environment Line on 131 555. Environment Line reports are confidential and can be made 24hours a day, 7 days a week.
For more information about the EPA’s role in regulating private native forestry in NSW click here.
Terminations of private native forestry property vegetation plans, penalty notices and fines are just some of the regulatory tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance. For more information about other regulatory tools download a copy of the EPA’s Compliance Policy.

Contact: Public Affairs