Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Blacktown Waste Services issued with $15,000 penalty for non-compliant handling of asbestos

Media release: 29 January 2016

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has issued Blacktown Waste Services (BWS) with a penalty notice for $15,000 for failing to competently manage asbestos at its Marsden Park landfill.
 

The EPA became aware of the issue upon inspection of the landfill on 26 August 2015, observing that there were many broken pieces of suspected asbestos cement in the asbestos disposal area.  The asbestos cement was not appropriately covered. The cement was sampled, analysed and has been confirmed to contain asbestos.


The EPA issued a $15,000 penalty notice to BWS for failure to operate in a competent manner, as required by its environment protection licence.


Chris McElwain, EPA Senior Manager of Waste Compliance said “By not appropriately covering the asbestos disposal area, BWS created a situation that was potentially harmful to human health.


“In response to the inspection, BWS has ceased accepting asbestos, appropriately covered the asbestos disposal area, disciplined staff and reviewed its standard procedures.


“The EPA will continue to conduct rigorous compliance inspections with a particular focus on proper waste management practices.”


Penalty notices are just one of a number of tools the EPA can use to achieve compliance with environment protection legislation. Others include investigation, improvement and prohibition notices, official cautions, and prosecutions.


The EPA must also take a range of factors into account before delivering a proportionate regulatory response, including the degree of environmental harm, whether or not there are any real or potential health impacts, if the action of the offender was deliberate, compliance history, public interest and best environmental outcomes.


For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm.


ENDS

Contact: Public Affairs

Page last updated: 29 January 2016