EPA fines Horsham Council for landfill licence breach
Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has fined Horsham Rural City Council more than $7,700 for breaching a condition of its EPA licence at the Dooen landfill.
EPA North West Manager Dr Scott Pigdon said that during a recent licence compliance assessment of the landfill, officers found extensive areas of exposed waste that should have been covered with soil.
“A requirement of the council’s EPA licence is that at least 30 centimetres of soil cover is put over any exposed waste once operations at the site finish for the day. This is to prevent any waste from leaving the property and impacting on the local environment,” says Pigdon.
“While on site, EPA officers observed large areas of the landfill cell that had waste that were uncovered and saw litter being blown about by the wind. This waste had clearly been deposited on previous days.”
This is a clear violation of Horsham Rural City Council’s EPA licence, and the covering of exposed waste plays an important role in landfill environmental requirements. Pigdon says that covering waste at the landfill reduced other possible impacts on the environment such as odour and contaminated stormwater.
“This licence breach was very avoidable. Put simply, if the operator of the landfill had managed and monitored its exposed waste in accordance with its EPA licence it would have avoided this fine,” explains Pigdon.
He also says EPA would continue to hold the landfill operator to account with its regulatory requirements through further inspections of the site.
“This fine of over $7,700 follows an official warning given to the Horsham Rural City Council last year that was also for failing to adequately cover exposed waste at the end of operations for the day,” says Pigdon.
EPA urges members of the public to report suspected pollution to the EPA on 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC) or at www.epa.vic.gov.au.
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