The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined EESI Contracting for allegedly accepting and storing asbestos contaminated waste at their contaminated soil treatment facility at Cootamundra.
EESI Contracting are permitted by their licence to receive contaminated soils and treat the soil to reduce contaminant levels and beneficially re-use the soil off-site under certain conditions.
EPA Executive Director Regulatory Operations Carmen Dwyer said on this occasion it is alleged EESI Contracting received asbestos contaminated soil rather than soil which can be recycled.
“Samples taken by EPA officers indicated this waste contained asbestos, which the premises is not permitted to accept,” Ms Dwyer said
“The appropriate transport and disposal of asbestos is very important to avoid risk to the community and the environment.”
Ms Dwyer said after being contacted by the EPA, EESI Contracting took action with the stockpiles that tested positive for asbestos to minimise the potential for air-borne movement and cross contamination with other stockpiles. This included covering the stockpiles and removing stockpiles to facilities which could lawfully receive asbestos contaminated soils.
In addition to the penalty notice, EESI Contracting were also issued an official caution for depositing treated soil to form an embankment unlawfully and exceeding their on-site soil volume limit under their Environment Protection Licence.
The company is working with local council regarding a remedy for the unlawful embankment.