Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

EPA fines Macka’s Sand and Soil $15,000 for water pollution

Media release: 30 March 2017

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has issued a $15,000 fine to Grafil Pty Ltd, which trades as Macka’s Sand and Soil, for water pollution at its sand quarry in Salt Ash.

EPA Director Hunter Karen Marler said EPA officers detected the offence during an inspection on 12 October 2016.

“While we were on site we observed sediment laden water leaving the sand processing plant. The water ran into a drain that flowed beyond the Macka’s boundary.”

 Analysis of water samples taken by the EPA confirmed that there were high levels of suspended particles in the water which has the potential to cause damage to the fragile balance of the Hunter’s waterways.

 “The results of our sampling showed us that the environmental controls at Macka’s Sand and Soil were not working effectively which is why we’ve issued the $15,000 fine,” continued Ms Marler.

“Luckily there was no evidence of environmental harm on this occasion.”

In May 2016, the EPA commenced a prosecution in the Land and Environment Court against Grafil, alleging an offence relating to the operation of the Macka’s Sand and Soil premises as a waste facility without lawful authority. That case is next due in court on 7 April 2017.

Penalty notices are one of a number of tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance. The EPA takes in a range of factors into account before delivering a proportionate 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 http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/130251epacompl.htm.

 -ENDS

Contact: EPA Public Affairs

Page last updated: 30 March 2017