Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

EPA targets illegal landfilling in Wallacia

Media release: 8 December 2016

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has made it clear that disposing of soil and waste without the appropriate permits will not be tolerated, after EPA officers swooped on nine properties in the Western Sydney region and found trucks illegally disposing of fill.

Officers from the EPA, NSW Police Force and Penrith City Council commenced Operation Southern Hawk in the Wallacia area, along Park and Mulgoa Roads, in response to public reports frequent truck traffic and intelligence gathered from aerial surveillance.

EPA officers even observed one truck brazenly dumping soil and waste containing asbestos – without any of the contaminated fill permissions- at one lot during the inspections. 

EPA Director of Waste Compliance Greg Sheehy said dumping and receiving illegal landfill is a serious crime with potentially dangerous consequences.

“We are seeing unscrupulous operators who are trying to cut corners and save money,” Mr Sheehy said.

“This isn’t fair on operators in the industry who are doing the right thing and it certainly isn’t fair on the unsuspecting property owners who are getting stung.

“All too often we see property owners accepting what they think is clean fill, but they end up with soil that’s contaminated with building and construction waste, harmful chemicals or asbestos.”

Operation Southern Hawk took place in November and investigations continued last week in Greendale Road and Wolstenholme Avenue, with fines and clean-up notices to be issued to dumpers and landowners found to be at fault.

“These shonky operators dump their waste and put human and environmental health at risk, while also leaving them with significant clean-up costs and sometimes fines,” Mr Sheehy said.

“We’ve relied heavily on community information as part of Operation Southern Hawk. If you notice unusually frequently truck movements into a rural property, that can be an indication of illegal waste operations and it’s best to report it to our Environment Line on 131 555.”

Property owners can check with their local council whether the filling of land is permitted on their lot, and what approvals are required. The EPA also provides a guide on accepting fill – this is available at www.epa.nsw.gov.au/illegaldumping/landfill.htm

If a property owner knowingly accepts illegal landfill on their property, they can face fines of up to $1,000,000.  

Contact: EPA Public Affairs

Page last updated: 08 December 2016