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EPA directs RailCorp to clean up asbestos waste

Illegal dumping case study

Asbestos waste unlawfully placed at a RailCorp site. Photo: RailCorp.

Asbestos waste unlawfully placed at a RailCorp site. Photo: RailCorp.

In 2011 Rail Corporation NSW (RailCorp) informed the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) that a skip bin business was unlawfully occupying and storing waste, including asbestos waste, at a site owned by RailCorp.

The asbestos waste posed an ongoing risk to human health and the environment. As the appropriate regulatory authority, the EPA reasonably suspected that an incident of land pollution had occurred and that waste had been transported and stored at the premises without lawful authority.

Although RailCorp had no involvement in the deposition of the waste, it is the owner of the premises. The EPA issued a section 92(1) notice under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (POEO Act) to direct RailCorp to take clean-up action.

The clean-up notice required RailCorp to secure the premises, and to classify, transport and dispose of all the waste to a place that can lawfully accept the waste.

A copy of the notice may be downloaded from the POEO public register at www.environment.nsw.gov.au/publicregister/

Under section 104 (2) of the POEO Act, since RailCorp is a public authority it may seek recovery of the costs of complying with the clean-up notice from the person suspected to have caused the pollution incident.

 

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Page last updated: 14 January 2015