Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Two penalties for Visy Paper Australia for litter and odour problems

Media release: 10 March 2016

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has issued Visy Paper with an $8, 000 penalty notice for offensive odours and a $500 penalty notice for litter escaping the boundary of its Smithfield premises.

EPA officers detected an odour issue at the premises during an unannounced site inspection in November 2015 and issued Visy with a prevention notice instructing the company to undertake all reasonable actions to prevent further emissions of odours beyond the boundary of the premises.

Greg Sheehy, NSW EPA Acting Director Metropolitan Branch said “The EPA subsequently met with Visy on 13 January to confirm the actions Visy was required to implement to adequately control all potential sources of offensive odour at the Smithfield plant to prevent the emission of offensive odours beyond the boundary of the plant by February 2016.

“Unfortunately a follow-up inspection on 18 February 2016 showed that additional odours were detected from poor leachate management at the site. During the inspection EPA officers also observed litter deposited on the ground and in the trees from the premises. EPA officers also observed litter being blown off the premises and into the nearby bushland to the south.”

“The EPA has issued two penalty notices to Visy along with directions to fix the additional odour and litter problems.”

 Penalty notices are one of a number of tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance, including formal warnings, licence conditions, notices and directions, mandatory audits, enforceable undertakings, legally binding pollution reduction programs 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.

Contact: Public Affairs

Page last updated: 10 March 2016