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Environment Protection Authority Victoria and VicRoads has launched a joint operation aimed at quelling illegal waste dumping across the State.
Commencing this week, the joint operations follow the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding that will see VicRoads officers gather intelligence on behalf of EPA during inspections of vehicles transporting hazardous waste known as prescribed industrial waste (PIW).
Under this agreement, EPA authorised officers will also conduct roadside inspections in conjunction with VicRoads to assess vehicle compliance.
According to EPA Executive Director of Regulatory Practice and Strategy, Chris Webb, the transport of PIW is a priority area of EPA’s Illegal Dumping Strikeforce – a program developed to reduce the dumping of industrial waste.
“PIW waste must be transported appropriately to ensure the safety of drivers as well as the broader community and the environment,” he said.
“If you hold an EPA permit to transport PIW, it’s your responsibility to know what type of waste you’re transporting and that the location you’re taking it to can lawfully accept it. Relying on the advice of waste facility managers or contractors is no defence.
“Complying with waste management and transport laws is pretty simple and transporters need to understand their obligations and operate within the law. Failure to do so can lead to fines of up to $373,104 and loss of your vehicle permit.”
Webb said EPA authorised officers will check waste vehicles have the proper signage and authorisations to transport different types of waste. Vehicles will also be checked for compliance against the vehicles permit conditions.
“EPA’s new partnership with VicRoads not only enables us to pool resources out in the field, but also facilitates the exchange of information and intelligence,” he said. “While subject to privacy and confidentiality laws, this information sharing strengthens our ability to identify high-risk vehicles quickly and act.”