The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has issued a warning against waste transport operators who fail to cooperate with EPA investigations.
This follows reports that five companies had been fined a total of $9,000 following EPA investigations into two illegal dumping incidents in western Sydney in 2019 and 2020.
It is alleged those companies failed to provide information, when required, to assist the EPA to investigate illegal dumping incidents according to Greg Sheehy EPA Director Major Compliance and Investigations.
Tat 1 Transport Pty Ltd of Casula has been fined $1,500 for an alleged offence of failing to respond to a statutory notice requesting information and records in relation to an illegal dumping investigation at Rossmore in western Sydney.
“In the past month, a further four companies have been fined over investigations into an illegal dumping matter in Bringelly in western Sydney where asbestos was found in soil,” said Sheehy.
Austar Civil Pty Ltd of North Sydney has been fined $3,000 while threeother companies were fined $1,500 each.
These were, as noted, Kuringai Soil and Recycling of Brooklyn, AR Demolition and Excavation of Fairfield East and Aus Labour and Driver Hire of Merrylands, for failing to respond to statutory notices asking for information.
All four companies transported potentially contaminated soil material to the Bringelly address.
Sheehy said failing to comply or respond to the notices impacted the EPA’s ability to conduct investigations and obstructed its regulatory responses.
“Illegal dumping by rogue waste transport operators and those failing to cooperate with investigations will not be tolerated,” he said.
“Illegal dumping is a crime and recently the EPA received another report of suspected illegal dumping in southwestern Sydney, at Macarthur Heights,” said Sheehy.
“These fines are the result of EPA investigations which involved the tracking of vehicles suspected of being involved in the illegal dumping of waste, which is a very serious offence and can create hazards for the environment and community.
“When asked, companies must respond to notices from the EPA requesting information which relates to its regulatory work, including investigations.
“The EPA will not back down from pursuing waste transporters. Let me make it clear that further breaches by any of these companies are likely to result in court action,” Sheehy concluded.