Sunshine West company Future Fuel Services Pty Ltd has been fined $8,261 for dumping contaminated soil on a subdivision development site at Daylesford.
Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) North West Regional Manager Dr Scott Pigdon says the investigation began with calls from concerned members of the public.
“The callers reported numerous truckloads of suspected contaminated soil being deposited at a property in Daylesford. They described how the soil smelled of diesel fuel,” Dr Pigdon said.
“Investigating EPA officers found the soil was from excavations on a nearby service station in Daylesford. The service station was undergoing an upgrade, and the soil was being deposited as clean fill for a property development,” he said.
“EPA testing showed the deposited soils were contaminated with hydrocarbons, such as diesel, and sufficiently contaminated to be classified as Prescribed Industrial Waste, which is subject to legal controls in both its handling and disposal. “
EPA has fined Future Fuel Services Pty Ltd for depositing industrial waste at a place that is not licensed to accept it.
EPA also issued the company with a regulatory notice requiring it to clean up the dumping site, and the company has complied.
“This case is a clear warning that you can’t just dig up, transport and dump contaminated soil without the proper protections for the community and the environment,” Dr Pigdon said.
“Any member of the public can report your suspicious activity, and if it constitutes an offence under the Environment Protection Act 1970, EPA can investigate, fine the offender and make them clean it up,” he said.
The offence was detected on 5 October 2020.
The EPA website explains the legal requirements for waste generators, transporters and facilities that receive soils contaminated with organic compounds here: epa.vic.gov.au/for-business/find-a-topic/manage-industrial-waste/prescribed-industrial-waste-classifications
The EPA website also has a publication for landholders, titled Illegal dumping alert – Avoid the dangers of taking fill material onto your land: epa.vic.gov.au/about-epa/publications/1512
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).