EPA fines wrecker’s yard for lack of leak prevention

Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has fined a northern suburbs auto wrecker’s yard more than $16,000 over industrial waste and a lack of measures to prevent leakage into the environment.

EPA Northern Metropolitan Regional Manager Jeremy Settle says the fines result from routine inspections of auto wreckers and metal recyclers in Melbourne’s north.

“EPA officers found the Arara Auto Wreckers site in Sarah St, Campbellfield, had stored waste oils, engine coolants and materials including waste oil filters and metals, with no measures to prevent any spills entering the nearby stormwater drains and waterways,” Mr Settle said.

“We also found Prescribed Industrial Waste (PIW) including discarded oil and coolant dumped on the ground at the premises,” he said.

“Depositing the PIW was an offence under the Environment Protection Act 1970 and attracted an EPA fine of $8,261. EPA also issued the company with a Pollution Abatement Notice (PAN) requiring it to install controls to prevent any spills from escaping into nearby drains or waterways.”

EPA has issued the company with a second fine of $8,261 for failing to comply with the PAN.

“Businesses must understand they have responsibilities to the environment and the community. Any waste escaping from the premises would be a hazard to animals, birds and aquatic life in nearby waterways,” Mr Settle said.

EPA officers are continuing to conduct routine inspections of wreckers’ yards and metal recyclers in Melbourne’s north, and members of the public can report pollution by calling EPA’s 24 hour hotline on 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842).

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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.

Auto wreckers can find advice on how to comply with the Environment Protection Act 1970, in Publication 1810: Auto Recyclers Guideline, which is available on the EPA website, at: epa.vic.gov.au/about-epa/publications/1810

The guidance document includes practical measures that can be taken to prevent or minimise any risk of harm to human health and the environment as a result of auto recycling operations.

The Auto Recyclers Guideline is relevant for businesses working in vehicle parts recycling involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, farm machinery and other industrial vehicles that operate on land.

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