Two Melbourne companies fined over illegal tyre storage
The Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has fined Brooklyn company Tyre-Lug Services (Barro Group Pty Ltd) and Engine Galore Pty Ltd in Craigieburn over the illegal storage of tyres.
Each company was fined more than $7,500 each – Tyre-Lug Services for storing more than 5,000 equivalent passenger units (EPU) of waste tyres without an EPA licence, and Engine Galore for storing approximately 6,500 equivalent passenger units (EPUs) of waste tyres without the required EPA licence.
Tyre-Lug Services’s stockpile, which was the equivalent of about 150,000 standard waste car tyres, had been reduced by about half but the company still had work ahead to become compliant with an EPA notice, says EPA Metro Manager Daniel Hunt.
“While the company has begun reducing its stockpile, it has not met an EPA deadline to arrange waste tyre stockpiles and maintain stockpile separation distances as required under the Victorian Fire Services’ tyre storage guidelines.”
The company now has until 30 April 2017 to either reduce its stockpile to below 5000 EPU or to obtain an EPA licence.
Tyre-Lug Services is a business that re-treads and re-lugs truck and off the road (OTR) tyres, and has indicated that it will apply for an EPA licence to store more than 5,000 EPU of waste tyres at its site, says Hunt.
Engine Galore, however, had disregarded an official warning previously issued to it for storing too many waste tyres at its premises, says the EPA.
“The company was issued an official warning last year and informed that it would face further sanctions if it didn’t reduce its stockpile to less than 5,000 EPUs. While the company did initially reduce its stockpile, it has allowed tyre numbers to increase again, which is why EPA has fined it more than $7,500,” Hunt says.
The EPA tightened tyre regulations back in 2015 to ensure the Victorian public was better protected from the risk of tyre fires from unsafe stockpiles. The guidelines require premises that store more than 40 tonnes or 5,000 waste tyres to obtain a works approval and licence from the EPA.
Hunt says large tyre stockpiles can pose a major fire risk to the environment and the local community. “Tyre fires cause pollution of the atmosphere and are incredibly difficult to extinguish, as was the case when a stockpile caught fire in Broadmeadows last year,” he says. “Once ignited, they are hard to control and generate hazardous smoke that can cause a health risk to the community.”
Anyone who illegally stockpiles tyres can face a fine of up to $758,350 if prosecuted before the courts.
If the community suspects someone is illegally stockpiling tyres or taking them to a place that cannot lawfully accept waste tyres, they are encouraged to contact EPA’s 24-hour pollution hotline on 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842).
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