Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

EPA fines Somersby waste processing company $30,000 for water pollution

Media release: 1 April 2016

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has issued two penalty notices and fined waste processing company Biocoal Group Pty Ltd a total of $30,000 for failing to comply with conditions of its Environment Protection Licence and causing water pollution at its facility in Somersby.

In October 2015, the EPA carried out an inspection of the facility where a number of concerns were identified. These included the inadequate processing, handling and storage of waste material onsite as well as the discharge of leachate, with elevated nutrient levels, from a waste stockpile into the path of Piles Creek.

Nutrients such as nitrogen are essential in small quantities for plant growth in creeks and rivers but in greater amounts can lead to poor water quality and may contribute to the growth of algae.

The EPA’s Manager Regional Waste Compliance, Rob Hogan said under the conditions of its Environment Protection Licence, the Biocoal Group does not have authority to discharge any pollution from the site.

“Licence conditions are put in place to protect the environment and the community,” Mr Hogan said.

“It is the company’s responsibility to comply with all licence conditions, including making sure there are adequate systems in place to appropriately manage waste, leachate and stormwater, and to prevent erosion and water pollution.”

In addition to the two Penalty Notices the company was also issued two Official Cautions for failing to comply with conditions of its Environment Protection Licence.

Since the October inspection the company has taken steps to improve its operations including the removal of over 200,000 litres of water from the site, improvements to the leachate collection system to ensure leachate does not mix with stormwater, and putting in place an updated water management plan.

To report water pollution contact the EPA’s 24hour Environment Line on 131 555.

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Contact: Public Affairs

Page last updated: 01 April 2016