Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

EPA issues Penalty Notice to Quarry Solutions at Valla

Media release: 5 April 2016

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has issued an $8,000 fine to Quarry Solutions for certifying as correct statements in an Annual Return that were false and misleading.

 EPA Manager North Coast Region, Brett Nudd, said “Quarry Solutions Pty Ltd, which operates Valla Quarry, certified in the Annual Return for the quarry that all conditions of the licence had been complied with during the reporting period for 2014-2015. 

 However, the EPA’s official records showed that the company had conducted activities outside the approved operating hours on one occasion during this reporting period. The EPA had issued a Formal Warning for this non-compliance.”

 The company was aware of this non-compliance and this should have been reflected in the company’s annual return.” 

 Mr Nudd said “All holders of environment protection licences issued by the EPA are required to submit annual returns. Annual Returns form a critical element of the EPA’s licensing system”.

 In the Annual Return operators are required to sign a statement of compliance, confirming whether or not they have complied with the licence conditions. The operators are required to provide details of any non-compliances.

 The Annual Return must also detail the results of environmental monitoring, which is undertaken by the operator.

 “The EPA views providing false or misleading statements in an Annual Return as a very serious issue. Accurate reporting and disclosure of non-compliances is a critical element that underpins the integrity of the EPA’s licensing system.”

 Under environment protection legislation, it an offence for a person to provide a false or misleading statement in an Annual Return.

 “The EPA’s investigations also revealed that the company had exceeded the annual extraction limit permitted by the licence. The licensee was issued with an Official Caution for this second offence”, Mr Nudd added.

 In order to protect local communities and the environment, and to provide a level playing field for operators, it is critical that these limits are complied with.

 Mr Nudd noted that the EPA is actively monitoring the volume of material being extracted by licensed quarries and encouraged quarry operators to closely monitor the volumes they are extracting to ensure that the remain in compliance with their licence conditions.

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

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

 If anyone wants to report an incident of air, noise or water pollution, they should contact the EPA’s Environment Line on 131 555.The Environment Line operates 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

Contact: EPA Public Affairs

Page last updated: 05 April 2016