The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined Alcon Disposals Pty Ltd $30,000 and the director $7,5000 after the Wyong facility received and stored thousands of tonnes of waste without an environment protection licence.
The fines are the result of a lengthy EPA investigation into operations on the site that included inspections, notices and interviews.
The investigation revealed that between 1 July 2015 and 30 June 2016, approximately 6,900 tonnes of waste was received at the Lucca Road site. The EPA issued a warning to the operator to cease receiving waste or obtain an environment protection licence. Despite the warning, continued EPA monitoring showed the site received another 12,100 tonnes of waste between 1 July 2016 and 23 May 2017.
Any facility that receives or stores more than 1,000 tonnes of waste at any time, or over 6000 tonnes of waste in a year, must have an environment protection licence for the activity. The EPA issues licences and monitors licence holders for compliance.
The EPA issued two fines of $15,000 each to Alcon for receiving and storing waste without a licence, and issued a $7,500 fine to the company director for not acting with due diligence to prevent or halt the breaches.
EPA Waste Compliance Director Greg Sheehy said waste facilities that operated outside the rules should expect the EPA to take action for any unlawful activities and their impacts on the environment.
“Environment protection licences aren’t a ‘tick-the-box exercise’: they are an integral part of ensuring waste facilities operate according to conditions that are there to protect human health and the environment,” Mr Sheehy said.