Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Mobile phone footage helps EPA catch illegal dumper

Media release: 10 June 2016

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has issued a penalty notice and fined a business man from Young $4,000 for the unlawful transport and disposal of septic tank waste onto a property at Bigga, near Crookwell. 

The EPA commenced an investigation after a member of the public captured footage of the November 2015 incident on their mobile phone and provided it to the EPA. The footage showed a brown liquid substance being discharged from the back of a truck and spilling freely onto the ground.

Testing carried out later by EPA officers found pathogens consistent with human sewage present in the soil, confirming that septic waste had been transported and disposed of illegally onto the land.

The EPA’s Director South, Gary Whytcross said illegal dumping of waste is an environmental crime that will not be tolerated by the EPA or by the community.

“In this case, not only was the septic waste unsightly, but it also posed a potential risk to human health and the local environment,” Mr Whytcross said.

“Unfortunately the dumping of waste onto unoccupied land is not an isolated incident, but as we saw in this case, the community can play a really important role in helping the EPA catch these illegal dumpers in the act and bring them to account.

The community are our eyes and ears, and with smartphone technology people can capture vital evidence that can go a long way to helping us stop illegal dumping across NSW.”

Anybody who sees suspicious or unusual truck activity on a property report should  report it immediately to the EPA’s 24hour Environment Line on 131 555, providing details of the vehicle’s registration, a description of the vehicle and type of waste, as well as the time and location of the incident.

The EPA must 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

Penalty notices are one of a number of tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance. Other tools include; formal warnings, additional 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

END

Contact: Public Affairs

Page last updated: 10 June 2016