Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

EPA issues warning to take care during wet weather

Media release: 6 January 2016

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is urging local residents to avoid waterways and to use caution as heavy rain and flash flooding continues to wreak havoc in many communities across the state, including; the Mid-North Coast, Central Coast, Newcastle and the wider Sydney region.

EPA Chief Environmental Regulator Mark Gifford said EPA officers are working closely with emergency services and local councils to monitor for pollution incidents and provide expert advice.

“People should avoid public waterways, including rivers, creeks and floodwaters, due to a risk of pollution during and after heavy rainfall,” Mr Gifford said.

Extreme weather can also impact on local industries and businesses licensed by the EPA.

Licence holders are required to report all incidents to the EPA and monitor for potential pollution. Failure to do so can result in regulatory action from the EPA.

“Environment protection licences take into account the risks associated with extreme weather and each licence includes a number of strict conditions operators are required to follow in order to prevent pollution."

“However, sometimes impacts can be unavoidable and in these circumstances the EPA will work closely with the water and sewer authorities to make sure that pollution is managed with minimal impact on the community and environment.”

If residents have a concern or knowledge of a particular pollution incident in their local area they are strongly encouraged to call the 24hour Environment Line on 131 555.

Contact: EPA Public Affairs Unit

Page last updated: 06 January 2016