Waste oil refinery falls foul of EPA NSW

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA NSW) is set to request a Mandatory Environmental Audit for the Truegain waste oil processing facility.

EPA NSW served notice on Truegain Pty Limited, also known as Australian Waste Oil Refineries, on 4 March of its intention to require the company to conduct a Mandatory Environmental Audit of its facility at Rutherford, near Maitland.

The EPA uses mandatory environmental audits in circumstances where serious environmental breaches are detected, or a pattern of environmental non-compliance emerges.

Director North Branch, Gary Davey, said EPA NSW has issued the notice following ongoing concerns about the site’s poor regulatory history.

“Truegain has repeatedly failed to comply with a range of conditions under its environment protection licence,” he said.

“The EPA has issued Truegain with 18 penalty notices since 2000, and has successfully prosecuted Truegain twice in the NSW Land & Environment Court. The prosecutions were for water pollution in 2003 and for failing to undertake its licensed activities in a competent manner, in 2014.”

Air emission testing results reported in Truegain’s 2014-15 Annual Return showed it had exceeded levels of contaminants allowed under the company’s environment protection licence. The contaminants included hydrogen chloride, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and cadmium.

The Mandatory Environmental Audit would require Truegain to audit its practices and procedures across the entire site and to report back to the EPA NSW on several key points.

Truegain had until 7 March 2016 to respond to the EPA NSW notice and provide comments on the proposed mandatory audit.

For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA NSW Compliance Policy.

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