Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has fined the operators of a Harrietville holiday and school camp more than $8,000 for breaches of the organisation’s licence to treat sewage on the property.
EPA North East Regional Manager Renee Palmer says the operators of Camp Gan, Harrietville, have an EPA licence that allows treated sewage to flow into the river, provided it meets a list of conditions for the protection of the community and the environment.
“The conditions in the camp’s EPA licence place limits on the levels of any contaminants that go into the river, and require regular monitoring and the immediate reporting to EPA of any breaches,” Ms Palmer said.
“EPA officers conducting a routine licence compliance inspection at the camp identified poorly treated sewage entering the Ovens River, which potentially presented a hazard to the environment and the community,” she said.
“The monitoring results showed the waste entering the river failed two of the regular tests, and the operators had failed to report those breaches to EPA.”
The company’s licence requires monitoring that includes regular inspections, sample analysis and odour surveillance. The sampling results showed the level of E Coli bacteria exceeded the limit, and so did the biological oxygen demand of the wastewater entering the river’s environment.
EPA has fined Camp Gan Welfare Association Incorporated $8,261 for breaching its licence and instructed the operators to bring the site back into compliance with its EPA licence.
EPA is conducting follow up inspections of the site, to ensure it complies with its licence.
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).