The owner of a Numurkah site, the Sidebottom Group, is required to pay close to $2 million for the cost of removing half a million tyres that created unacceptable risks to the environment and local community, in a settlement agreed as part of a proceeding commenced in the Supreme Court by the Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA).
EPA Executive Director Mr Rossiter said the settlement sent a strong signal to business and industry that where EPA incurs clean-up costs, it will do everything in its power to recover them on behalf of Victorians.
“It also proves illegal activities don’t pay, as it would have been much cheaper to comply with regulations in the first place,” Mr Rossiter said.
EPA with the assistance of Moira Shire Council undertook the removal of the stockpile from the site on Saxton Street, West Numurkah.
Mr Rossiter said the environmental impacts that can occur from a tyre fire are many, including air quality, firewater runoff into local waterways and land contamination.
“During a fire, the tyre product breaks down into hazardous compounds including gases, heavy metals and oil, generating a great deal of smoke,” Mr Rossiter said.
EPA used its powers under the Environment Protection Act 1970 to enter the site and remove the stockpile, after other legal options had been exhausted.
Under EPA legislation any premises on which over 40 tonnes, or 5,000 Equivalent Passenger Units, of tyres are stored is considered a scheduled premises. Scheduled premises require an EPA licence to operate and potentially a works approval for constructed buildings.