Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has fined Biomix Pty Ltd over groundwater monitoring at the company’s Stanhope composting facility.
EPA North West Regional Manager Dr Scott Pigdon said the company had failed to meet reporting requirements on a new expansion to its groundwater monitoring network.
“There might not have been a spill or contamination detected in this case, but adequate groundwater monitoring is one of the environmental safeguards built into the company’s EPA-issued licence to operate the facility,” Dr Pigdon said,
“The facility on Two Tree Road, Stanhope, is in irrigation farming country and farmers would be well aware of the importance of groundwater conditions to the land and the community relying on it,” he said.
The case began with a routine inspection, when EPA was not satisfied the existing monitoring was sufficient to confirm the company was meeting the controls included in its licence.
“EPA officers issued the company with a Pollution Abatement Notice (PAN) requiring that the monitoring network be expanded and giving a clear deadline for reporting on groundwater results, but the company failed to meet the deadline,” he said.
The $8,261 fine from EPA is for failing to comply with the PAN.
“The controls, monitoring and reporting requirements that come with a PAN or the company’s EPA-issued licence to operate its composting facility are there to protect the environment and the community,” Dr Pigdon said.
“A case like this is disappointing because businesses have a clear responsibility to know the rules and do the right thing, and the PAN included clear instructions and a written deadline,” he said.
EPA officers continue to follow up on the PAN, to ensure the company makes its facility compliant.
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).