Reports of smoke from a burning pile of industrial waste have led to Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) fining a Winchelsea company more than $8,000.
EPA Regional Manager for the South West, Carolyn Francis, says businesses must make sure they understand their responsibilities to the environment and the community.
“An EPA officer arrived to find a smouldering heap containing partially burnt plastics, timber including treated pine, and cardboard, as well as fire-affected wire and formed metals,” Ms Francis said.
“From the public’s point of view, it was producing odour and smoke, and the fact that it came from a commercial activity made it industrial waste as defined by the Environment Protection Act 1970,” she said.
EPA issued the company with an infringement notice that represents a fine of $8,261. The notice listed the offence as permitting the discarding of industrial waste to a premises that is not licensed to accept such waste.
The offence was detected in September 2019, and the company has taken a considerable amount of waste to landfill and cleaned up the site since then.
EPA will continue to monitor the company’s compliance, and work to educate rural communities on their responsibilities with regards to waste management.
“There is a clear message in this case for all businesses; industrial waste must not be burnt, it must be treated onsite under licence, or taken for proper disposal at a licensed facility, and any company or person breaching the law will be responsible for the cost of the clean up as well as any fines,” Ms Francis said.