EPA fines company over Knox transfer station fire

Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has fined a Bayswater company $8,261 over a fire at the Knox Transfer Station on the afternoon of Thursday, 21 November last year.

Stephen Pugh of EPA’s Resource Recovery Facilities Audit Taskforce says an EPA officer was there as crews from the CFA and the Metropolitan Fire Brigade fought the fire

“The EPA officer responding to the incident detected a smoke-like odour nearly two kilometres from the premises on George St, Wantirna South, and observed a plume of smoke travelling eastwards over neighbouring suburbs,” Mr Pugh said.

“The fire had started in an area where waste mattresses are processed and recycled. Burning mattresses can produce noxious and offensive odours, and may release toxic substances that are potentially harmful to human health,” he said.

“EPA’s investigation found the company had failed to identify the source of heat within the stockpile of mattresses and failed to suppress the fire before any off-site impacts on the environment and the community had occurred.

“All businesses are required to understand and meet their responsibilities under environmental law, and EPA investigates and penalises any offenders,” Mr Pugh said.

BACKGROUND

EPA has fined Knox Transfer Station Pty Ltd $8,261 for causing an environmental hazard, an offence under Section 27A(1)(c) of the Environment Protection Act 1970.

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).

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