The Sunshine Magistrates’ Court has fined a local concrete batching company $10,000 for failing to prevent liquid spills from entering stormwater drains and dumping industrial waste and slurry onto neighbouring land.
Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) prosecuted Economix Pty Ltd after a routine inspection revealed waste running from the company’s Ravenhall property into a drain.
“After initial investigations observed pollution leaving the site, EPA issued a Pollution Abatement Notice (PAN) requiring the company to install controls to prevent its runoff going to stormwater drains. The next inspection showed the work had not been done,” EPA Western Metropolitan Regional Manager, Stephen Lansdell said.
“A later inspection at another Economix site on Terror St, Keilor Park, revealed slurry had flowed under a wire fence and formed a 30m by 10m pool on neighbouring land.”
“The slurry and piles of loose material including gravel and stones had also escaped, which were industrial waste and the neighbouring property was not licensed to accept it,” Mr Lansdell said.
EPA fined the company $8,060 for each of the two offences, then the company opted to have the matter heard in court.
The court fined Economix $10,000 without conviction and ordered the company to pay EPA’s legal costs of $1,878.
“The court’s decision in this case is a clear message to industry that all businesses must prevent pollution and waste from their premises,” Mr Lansdell said.
“This company had the opportunity to comply with an official notice from EPA by taking action to prevent any further pollution, and there were consequences when it didn’t,” he said.
The investigation had begun with a call from a member of the public and involved officers from EPA and the City of Brimbank.
Members of the public can report pollution by calling EPA’s 24 hour hotline on 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842).