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Environment Protection Authority

State Asphalts fined for asbestos-contaminated waste stockpiles

Media release: 26 May 2017

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined State Asphalts NSW Pty Ltd $15,000 after it stockpiled building and demolition waste contaminated with asbestos, which is it not licensed to receive.

State Asphalts is only licensed to receive asphalt waste and virgin excavated natural material.

EPA officers discovered two stockpiles of waste with suspected asbestos fragments during an inspection at State Asphalt’s premises in Prestons NSW, on 14 November 2016. The inspection was part of the ‘Operation Burr’ joint campaign with SafeWork NSW to assess the presence of asbestos in recycling facilities.

Four samples were taken by the officers from the piles of mixed soil, concrete and brick, which were an estimated 3.5 metres high with a diameter of 6-8 metres. All four samples tested positive in the EPA laboratory for chrysotile or white asbestos.

NSW EPA Director for Waste Compliance, Greg Sheehy, said State Asphalts had stockpiled the waste material from 27 August 2016 without notifying the EPA of the situation.

“Uncontrolled stockpiling of asbestos waste has the potential to cause harm to both the environment and human health. If asbestos fibres are inhaled, they can cause serious lung conditions such as asbestosis and mesothelioma,” said Mr Sheehy.

State Asphalts was issued an EPA clean-up notice on 21 November 2016 and has since disposed of the material as required.

Penalty notices are one of a number of tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance including formal warnings, official cautions, licence conditions, notices and directions and prosecutions. For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA’s Compliance Policy at www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm

Contact: EPA Public Affairs

Page last updated: 26 May 2017