EPA has fined Wellington Shire Council $8,261 over truckloads of waste found dumped on a property at Gormandale.
EPA Regional Manager Jessica Bandiera says the investigation started with a call from a member of the public which sparked a joint inspection of the property on Oakes Rd, Gormandale.
“EPA and Parks Victoria officers found more than a dozen large piles of waste that should not have been there,” Ms Bandiera said.
“The waste included logs, dried branches, dead vegetation, plastic, blue gravel, paper, weeds, bitumen, road signs, rocks and several different types of soil,” she said.
“It had been dumped along a ridge and was spilling over the embankment into a gully, where the officers also found two old car bodies.”
The waste is classified as industrial waste under the Environment Protection Act 1970 and the facility was not licensed to accept it, which made the dumping a breach of Section 27A(2)(a) of the Act.
“This was deliberate dumping of mixed industrial waste, and on a second visit Parks Victoria officers reported disappointedly seeing council workers dumping more loads of waste on the premises,” Ms Bandiera said.
“This waste is a threat to local plants and wildlife, and the unknown nature of some of the content means there could have been other types of contamination that might affect the soil or waterways,” Ms Bandiera said.
“EPA issued a Clean Up Notice that required the Council to have the material cleaned up, and the Council has since complied,” she said.
Members of the public can report all types of pollution to EPA’s 24 hour hotline on 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842).
The site inspection took place on the afternoon of 26 February 2021.
Under the Environment Protection Act 1970 and the Infringements Act 2006, the Council 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.