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Environment Protection Authority

Wallacia Soils fined $15,000 after contaminated fill found on site

Media release: 29 June 2017

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined Wallacia Soils Pty Ltd $15,000 after contaminated soil was used at Bents Basin Road for a quarry rehabilitation project.

Wallacia Soils is working to rehabilitate an old quarry at the site, and is required to fill the hole with Virgin Excavated Natural Material or Excavated Natural Material (VENM or ENM) – that is, fill material that is of a high quality and without contaminants.

Wallacia Soils organised trucks to transport fill material to the site but did not ensure the trucks were delivering clean material. As a result, a number of trucks entered the site between February and August 2016, and delivered a mix of clean and contaminated fill.

Following a tip to the Environment Line about illegal landfilling, the EPA visited the site and found that some of the delivered material was contaminated with asbestos and heavy metals. This was of significant concern, given the site’s proximity to the Nepean River.

Some of the trucks delivering to the property had also been under EPA investigation for suspicion of delivering dirty fill.

The EPA instructed Wallacia Soils to remove the waste to a proper waste disposal facility. Wallacia Soils was issued an Official Caution for its part in arranging the waste transport, and fined $15,000 for operating an unlawful waste facility.

EPA Waste Compliance Manager Cate Woods said while Wallacia Soils hadn’t intentionally brought contaminated material onto their property, it was a hard-learned lesson that more safeguards need to be implemented.

“There are strict rules in place when it comes to accepting clean landfill because contaminated materials can have significant impacts on the environment,” Ms Woods said.

“We see this happen all too often: landowners open their gates to what they think are trucks delivering clean soil, but unscrupulous operators instead dump dirty fill that contains materials that not only put the environment at risk but cost thousands of dollars to clean up.

“Landowners need to take heed: sometimes you cannot see the contamination in the soil being delivered to your property so make sure you ask anyone delivering for information on where the soil has come from, what’s in it and any certificates to prove its source.”

Anyone with concerns about dirty fill can report to the EPA’s Environment Line on 131 555.

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 Compliance Policy at http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm

 

Contact: EPA Public Affairs

Page last updated: 29 June 2017