Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

‘Get the Site Right’ in this October’s Parramatta River compliance blitz

Media release: 30 September 2016

Throughout October the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and local councils within the Parramatta River Catchment Group (PRCG) are conducting a soil and erosion control compliance blitz at construction sites around Parramatta River.

The ‘Get the Site Right’ initiative is part of the PRCG’s mission to make the Parramatta River swimmable again by 2025, and highlights the role that developers and builders play in cleaning up the river.

EPA Director of Metropolitan Branch Ms Giselle Howard said that sediment and erosion from construction sites poses a major threat to the river and environment, if not properly managed.

“With the rapid construction and development taking place around Parramatta River, sediment can run off building sites into stormwater drains and straight into the Parramatta River,” Ms Howard said.

“Sediment runoff can pollute the river with dirt, soil, sand and mud, which can in turn smother native plants and animals that live in the river. Eroded river and creek banks also destroy habitats, and stormwater drains blocked by sediment can lead to flooding and overflows.

“Developers are required by law to incorporate sediment and erosion prevention measures in their environment protection licences and to adhere to these requirements throughout the construction process. Non-compliance can lead to fines of up to $15,000 for each incident.

“The NSW EPA is excited to be a part of the ‘Get the Site Right’ compliance taskforce; working with local councils to raise awareness with developers and the community about the effects of sediment runoff, and taking regulatory action as required.”

PRCG Chair Clr Jerome Laxale said the compliance campaign reflects the changing landscape of the Parramatta River.

“As residential development replaces the old industrial sites along the river, there is increasing demand for a quality river where people can safely swim,” Clr Laxale said. 

“‘Get the Site Right’ is a great example of how the member authorities of the PRCG are working together to protect the treasure that is the Parramatta River. We will be out in force in October patrolling sites and targeting offenders.

“The community also has a key role to play, by letting the EPA or local Council know if they see a site that doesn’t look right.”

You can report pollution incidents by calling the Environment Line number 131 555. Guidelines on sediment and erosion control are at www.ourlivingriver.com.au.

 

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PRCG media enquiries: Sarah Clift, PRCG Coordinator, 0477 745 634 / sclift@parracity.nsw.gov.au

EPA media enquiries: 02 9995 6415 (24hour Media Line) or publicaffairssection@epa.nsw.gov.au

Contact: EPA Public Affairs

Page last updated: 30 September 2016