A service station operator in Keele St, Collingwood who ignored notices from the Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has been fined in Heidelberg Magistrates Court.
The company operating the service station, Filomena Pty Ltd and director Mr Dimitrios Andrianopoulos failed to comply with the requirements of EPA Pollution Abatement Notices issued due to concerns petrol and diesel was seeping from underground tanks contaminating soil and groundwater.
Mr Andrianopoulos was served the first notice on 1 August 2019 requiring him to monitor the underground petroleum storage systems for leaks and subsequently provide a monitoring report. Despite adequate notice, Mr Andrianopoulos missed the compliance deadline by seven weeks.
A second notice issued on 7 February 2020 to conduct and supply a detailed site investigation report, was also ignored and the deadline missed by 617 days.
The court ordered a fine of $2,500 and ordered to Mr Andrianopoulos to pay EPA’s $2,000 court costs.
“Mr Andrianopoulos could have avoided $4,500 of expenses by complying with the reasonable requirements of the notices on time,” said EPA Jeremy Settle, EPA Northern Metropolitan Regional Manager.
“Mr Andrianopoulos had an obligation to ensure he was taking reasonable steps to prevent hydrocarbons, that is fuel, leaking from his business contaminating the land and causing and offensive odour for neighbouring properties.
“Under the General Environmental Duties (GED) section of the new Environment Protection Act 2017, which came into force in July 2021, everyone has a responsibility to act to prevent pollution. If Filomena and Mr Andrianopoulos had faced court under these new powers, his fine could have been far heavier.”