Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Offensive odours cost Cleanaway $15,000

Media release: 23 January 2017

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined Cleanaway Operations Pty Ltd $15,000 for failing to upgrade the odour control system at its Padstow liquid waste treatment facility.

The EPA ordered Cleanaway to upgrade the system by 1 November 2016 after investigating odour complaints from the local community.

EPA Executive Director Hazardous Incidents and Environmental Health Sarah Gardner said the treatment of grease-trap waste, which is the facility’s main activity, has a high risk of emitting offensive odours if not carried out with care and competence.

“This fine is part of ongoing regulatory action the EPA is taking as we want the community to enjoy their local area without offensive odours,” Mrs Gardner said.

“This means that in addition to the fine, Cleanaway must complete the odour control system upgrades by 31 July 2017 and demonstrate that an odour management plan is in place by 31 August 2017.

“In the interim, we have ordered Cleanaway to strictly comply with all odour reduction licence conditions at the Padstow facility,” Mrs Gardner continued.

“Cleanaway must use deodorisers, close the facility’s entry and exit points to maintain negative pressure and ensure vehicles are cleaned after each visit to the site.

 “We’ve granted an extension until August because we want Cleanaway to improve their performance both environmentally and for the sake of the community. However, if the works are not completed on time, to our required standards, we will have to consider further action.”

The maximum fine that can be issued by a court for an offence of this type is $1 million.

This is the third penalty notice for Cleanaway managed sites in NSW in the past six months.

The EPA will continue to monitor and respond to complaints from residents. Residents with concerns or knowledge of a pollution incident can contact the EPA’s 24 hour Environment Line on 131 555.

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: 23 January 2017