Illegal dumper racks up $100k EPA bill

Illegal dumper racks up $100k EPA bill

A man has paid almost $100,000 under three EPA Victoria (EPA VIC) notices after he disposed of demolition waste illegally across three local farms.

The West Wimmera man has spent $95,000 complying with three EPA notices that required the clean-up of the unlawfully dumped demolition waste.

EPA VIC launched an investigation into the dumping following tip-off from a member of the public last November. Its officers found the waste had come from three buildings that were burnt, demolished and buried on these farms.

The regulator issued the man responsible with fines of over $5,000 earlier this year for his actions, and then served the three clean-up notices for a further $80,000.

EPA VIC’s North West Team Leader of Field Operations, Danny Childs, said if the man had disposed of the waste – which included asbestos – through the proper channels it would have cost him only about $15,000.

“Taking the gamble of disposing this industrial waste illegally has cost the man $80,000 more than it would have if he had chosen to do the right thing and dispose of it through an appropriate facility licensed to receive it,” Mr Childs said.

Mr Childs said that during its investigation EPA had collected an extensive evidence brief that the West Wimmera Shire Council had now requested for review.

“The local council has asked for EPA’s evidence so it can consider whether it should pursue sanctions under the Building Act 1993 for actions at the three West Wimmera farms,” Mr Childs said.

EPA VIC is working to reduce the 350,000 tonnes of construction and demolition waste illegally dumped in Victoria each year. In 2014/15,  70 per cent of the 129 remedial notices it issued involved the dumping of construction and demolition wastes, such as concrete, asbestos, timber and bricks.