EPA has fined Traralgon company Crystal Dancer Pty Ltd more than $8,000 for keeping stockpiles of green waste that were too big and too close together.
EPA Gippsland Regional Manager Jessica Bandiera says the inspection was part of an EPA Fire Prevention Program that has targeted hundreds of sites across Victoria looking for breaches.
“EPA officers inspected the site on Rocla Rd, Traralgon East, and checked 22 stockpiles of green waste that included timber, woodchips, shavings, bark and various mulches – all materials that can burn,” Ms Bandiera said.
“They found there were stockpiles more than 20 metres wide, which exceeds the size limits, and had inadequate separation distances between the piles,” she said.
“With combustible waste and recyclable materials (CRWM), stockpile separation is critical to enable FRV and CFA firefighters the access they need to safely control and supress fires.”
EPA officers concluded that the company had not taken all reasonable steps to manage and store CRWM in a way that minimises the risk to human health and the environment from fire.
“Businesses are given every opportunity to understand their responsibilities to the community and the environment. For those dealing with CRWM there’s a detailed guideline document available for download from the EPA website,” she said.
“As well as responding to pollution reports from the public, EPA conducts routine inspections, many of them unannounced, and it’s up to businesses to take every reasonable step to make sure they are doing the right thing.”
The company has been fined $8,261.
“EPA has zero tolerance to unsafe waste management practices including uncontrolled fire risks at waste and resource recovery sites,” Ms Bandiera said.
Under the Environment Protection Act 1970 and the Infringements Act 2006, the operator has the right to have the infringement notice reviewed or be considered by a court.
Members of the public can report pollution by calling EPA’s 24 hour hotline on 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842) or providing details online at epa.vic.gov.au/report-pollution/reporting-pollution
EPA’s current guideline for the management and storage of combustible recyclable and waste materials (CRWM) is available here: epa.vic.gov.au/for-business/find-a-topic/manage-industrial-waste/crwm