The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined Gow Street Recycling Centre Pty Ltd $15,000 after runoff from the site allegedly flowed onto a neighbouring property and entered a stormwater drain, with the potential to contaminate nearby waterways.
Sediment was also tracked onto the road from trucks leaving the premises, creating further potential pollution.
EPA Director Metro Regulatory Operation James Goodwin said the penalty notice, stemming from an inspection in May 2020, was necessary to protect the environment especially considering the company was a repeat offender.
“Gow Street Recycling Centre was given an official caution just last year for sediment tracking, so to find it happening again is unacceptable,” Mr Goodwin said.
“EPA officers found muddy water flowing onto a neighbouring property and into a stormwater drain.
“Stormwater drains feed into local waterways. When sediment contaminates our streams and rivers, it can smother native plants and animals and destroy aquatic habitats.
“This company is aware of the obligations set out in its environment protection licence, and it is crucial they take them seriously to protect our environment,” Mr Goodwin said.
One formal warning has also been issued to the recycler for other alleged breaches of its licence including failing to have clear separation of stockpiles and no clear delineation of the tip and spread area.
“The company has cooperated well with the EPA and has since improved its processes, especially around sediment tracking,” Mr Goodwin said.
Penalty notices are one of a number of tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance including formal warnings, official cautions, licence conditions, notices and directions and prosecutions. For the penalty notice, the notice recipient may pay the penalty notice, seek a review, or elect to have the matter determined by a court.