Nowra Local Court has convicted South Coast Plant Hire Pty Ltd and fined it $20,000 for an offence relating to its failure to remove waste glass stored unlawfully at its Victa Way, Bomaderry premises.
The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) prosecuted South Coast Plant Hire for failure to comply with a prevention notice to remove the waste glass by 11 October 2019. The waste was not removed until 29 March 2021.
The Court ordered also South Coast Plant Hire to publish notices in the Illawarra Mercury and South Coast Register with details of the offence and to pay $8,000 of the EPA’s legal costs.
EPA Acting Director Regional South Operations Jason Bentley said EPA officers had inspected the premises and observed waste glass being stored in an area not covered by their environment protection licence.
“The correct storage of waste glass is important to ensure proper waste management practices are in place for things like dust suppression, to stop potential issues affecting neighbours or the environment,” Mr Bentley said.
“EPA officers have inspected the premises numerous times from February 2019 and noted waste glass consistently stored in the wrong area, without proper dust suppression in place.”
The waste glass stored on the unlicensed lot over approximately 18 months was in excess of 1000 cubic metres. It has since been moved to a licensed facility.
Mr Bentley said the EPA had rules and regulations around how facilities manage waste which were designed to reduce risk.
“The EPA expects all operators to comply with legal requirements to ensure the health and safety of the community, the environment and company employees,” Mr Bentley said.
A conditional release order was made on the director of South Coast Plant Hire for a related offence of being the occupier of the premises where the waste was unlawfully stored. This order requires the director to not commit any offences for two years and to appear before the Court if called to do so. He was also ordered to pay $8,000 of the EPA’s legal costs.
Prosecutions 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.