Screech and breach costs company a fine from EPA

Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has fined a central Victorian steel supplier more than $8,000 for breaching a regulatory notice requirement to stop excessive noise from its premises affecting nearby residents.

EPA North West Regional Manager Dr Scott Pigdon says the investigation of noise from the McKern Steel premises in Victoria Street, Eaglehawk, was following up on complaints from the community.

“Members of the public reported excessive noise characterised as banging, crashing, clanging, screeching and hammering from the factory,” Dr Pigdon said.

“EPA officers investigated and issued the company with a Pollution Abatement Notice (PAN), requiring them to take action, as to ensure noise from the site was reduced to within legal limits by 31 July 2020.

Three days after the deadline, EPA officers set up a noise logging device, for week, among neighbouring residents.

“The noise logger confirmed that noise levels from the premises were consistently in excess of the limits defined in State Environment Protection Policy (SEPP) N1, during the day and at night,” Dr Pigdon said.

“As a result, EPA has fined the company $8,261 for breaching the conditions of the Pollution Abatement Notice. The company is still required to take action to reduce the noise from its factory to permissible levels,” he said.

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.

Members of the public can report pollution by calling EPA’s 24 hour hotline on 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842).

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

EPA officers set up the noise logger near houses in Watson Avenue, Eaglehawk, on 3 August 2020 and left it in operation until 10 August, recording noise levels day and night to assess the company’s compliance with the requirements of the PAN.

Analysis of the logger data indicated numerous noise exceedances attributed to McKern Steel Pty Ltd, ranging between 8 and 13 dBA at night (10 pm to 7 am) and numerous noise exceedances between 2 and 8 dBA during the day (7 am to 6 pm).

While there were numerous noise exceedances, the fine was issued for an exceedance of 13dB above applicable limits at 6:45 am on Wednesday 5 August 2020

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