Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

NSW EPA cracks down on Crawfords Freightlines Pty Ltd

Media release: 29 November 2016

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined Hunter company Crawford Freightlines Pty Ltd $16,500, and issued two prevention notices and four official cautions for poor environmental practices at their Sandgate premises.

During a routine inspection in April 2016, EPA officers observed inadequate pollution control measures while bulk supplies of ammonium nitrate were being loaded onto trucks. Officers noted that spillage had the potential to be dispersed by the wind and into nearby waterways.

The inspection also revealed poor chemical and dangerous goods storage, as well as inadequate spill response and water management procedures.

As a result of this investigation the EPA fined Crawfords $15,000 and issued four official cautions.

A further inspection in October 2016 revealed deficiencies in Crawford’s pesticide application records and a failure to comply with a 2014 prevention notice relating to methyl bromide handling. The EPA subsequently issued Crawfords with a $1,500 fine and issued two prevention notices to strictly monitor the use and emission of methyl bromide and to visually record all fumigation events.

EPA Director Hunter Karen Marler said the range of regulatory actions against Crawfords shows the EPA’s tough stance on poor environmental performance.

“We have no tolerance for companies that have sloppy practices when it comes to loading and unloading goods and not cleaning up their spillage properly, when there is potential harm to the environment. In addition, failure to comply with the requirements of their licence and the statutory notices we serve can have consequences,” Ms Marler said.

“Effective chemical storage and management is essential to protect the health of the community and the environment. The controls we put in place aim to ensure that chemicals are managed in a proper manner and are not released into the environment.

“Crawfords has an obligation to protect the local community and the environment and comply with its Environment Protection Licence. We will be continuing to monitor their activities to ensure they fulfil their obligations.”

Penalty notices, official cautions and prevention notices are a number of tools the EPA can use to protect the environment and achieve environmental compliance. The EPA takes in a range of factors into account to determine its regulatory response, including the degree of environmental harm, potential health impacts, compliance history, public interest and best environmental outcomes.

For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy

www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/130251epacompl.htm.

 -ENDS-

Contact: EPA Public Affairs

Page last updated: 29 November 2016