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Environment Protection Authority

Hi-Quality fined $64,500 over non-compliance and licence breaches

Media release: 1 August 2017

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined Hi-Quality Waste Management Pty Ltd a total of $64,500 for offences at its St Mary’s and Bringelly facilities, including license breaches by accepting asbestos waste, and non-compliance with other license conditions.

EPA Director Waste Compliance Greg Sheehy said Hi-Quality had failed to comply with its environment protection licence conditions and several Clean-Up notices.

“Hi-Quality’s breaches at two different facilities have resulted in potential harm to the environment, including water and air quality,” Mr Sheehy said.

“These fines reflect our commitment to ensuring waste facilities operate according to the rules set by the EPA.” 

Bringelly facility

At its Bringelly facility, Hi-Quality was fined a total of $19,500 for accepting and processing asbestos waste and allowing asbestos and high concentrations of lead to contaminate stockpiles of excavated natural material. It was also penalised for failing to submit information and records to the EPA by a statutory deadline.

EPA officers visiting the Bringelly facility in November 2016 found two stockpiles of what was supposed to be excavated natural material only. On testing the two stockpiles, the EPA confirmed the presence of asbestos as well as higher-than-allowed lead concentrations. Samples taken from other stockpiles also confirmed the presence of asbestos.

“The presence of asbestos and material which exceeds allowable chemical limits presents a risk of harm to the environment, especially since this material appears to be undergoing a recovery process for re-use,” Mr Sheehy said.

St Mary’s facility

Hi-Quality was also fined $30,000 and issued two Official Cautions for contravening licence conditions at its St Mary’s facility.

In December 2014, the EPA issued a license variation to Hi-Quality to try to improve environmental performance and process management at the facility.

This required a Pollution Reduction Program, including dust management measures and additional financial assurance to ensure Hi Quality has funds available for remedial works at the site if the EPA deems them necessary. EPA officers visiting the site in February 2017 found Hi-Quality had not completed the required works.

Separately, Hi-Quality was fined $15,000 for non-compliance with a January 2017 Clean-Up notice for stockpiles of asbestos-contaminated waste it had unlawfully stored at the St Mary’s facility since 2012.

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: Public Affairs

Page last updated: 01 August 2017