A Sydney man has been convicted and sentenced after being found guilty of wilfully delaying an authorised officer from the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) who was investigating possible waste offences at a premises in western Sydney.
Magistrate Karen Robinson ordered the defendant pay a $10,000 fine and $25,000 in legal costs incurred by the EPA in prosecuting the matter.
Blacktown Local Court heard that two EPA officers were attempting to take samples from waste stockpiles within a fenced compound in Shanes Park in October 2018 when the man confronted them, refused to accept their authority to be there and detained them by locking the gate.
The man was found guilty of an offence under s 211(3) of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act (1997) for wilfully delaying an authorised officer in the exercise of his powers under Chapter 7 of the Act.
EPA Chief Executive Officer Tracy Mackey said obstructive behaviour of this kind is not acceptable.
“EPA officers are doing their best to protect the community and the environment and there is no excuse for preventing them from performing their lawful duties,” Ms Mackey said.
“The Court’s decision demonstrates that any attempts to prevent EPA officers from undertaking investigations will have serious consequences.”
Prosecutions are one of a number of tools the EPA uses to achieve environmental compliance including formal warnings, official cautions, licence conditions, notices and directions.