A pile of waste six metres high in a Campbellfield motor wrecker’s yard has attracted an $8,261 fine from Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA), and a legally enforceable order to fix it.
EPA’s Manager of the Resource Recovery Facilities Audit Taskforce, Stephen Pugh, says EPA inspectors fined Hume Auto Wreckers Pty Ltd after finding the stockpile was not compliant with Victorian environment protection regulations.
“Our inspectors found a continuous stockpile of Combustible Recyclable and Waste Materials (CRWM) mixed with waste metal across the majority of the premises, including almost all outdoor areas at 27, 29 and 54 Fordson Road, Campbellfield,” Mr Pugh said.
“The stockpile included wrecked vehicles, waste tyres, plastic, foam, and used vehicle parts contaminated with hydrocarbons and other liquids,” he said.
The stockpile did not meet the separation distances between stockpiles and buildings required by the Waste Management Policy (CRWM) 2018 and CRWM guideline (EPA Publication 1667.2).
“Those separation distances are for safety; limiting the stockpile size can help contain any fire, and the separation distances give firefighters a decent chance to stop the fire spreading to the next stockpile, buildings and neighbouring properties,” Mr Pugh said.
“It is disappointing to find an offence like this because the hazard is obvious, the regulations are clear and businesses should know they have a responsibility to prevent harm to the environment, the community and neighbouring businesses,” he said.
EPA officers have also issued the company with a Pollution Abatement Notice requiring the company to bring the site into compliance.
“This is about preventing any fire for the protection of the community and the environment,” Mr Pugh said.
The inspection was part of the work of the EPA-led Resource Recovery Facilities Audit Taskforce, a multi-agency team set up to deal with stockpiles that pose a potential fire risk. Since July 2017, the Taskforce has conducted 965 inspections at 226 sites and issued 310 notices and 62 fines.
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.
Members of the public can report pollution by calling EPA’s 24 hour hotline on 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842).
Businesses can find the Waste Management Policy (CRWM) 2018 and CRWM guideline (EPA Publication 1667.2) on the EPA website, at https://ref.epa.vic.gov.au/business-and-industry/guidelines/waste-guidance/combustible-recyclable-and-waste-materials