Prevention notice issued for South Grafton construction site

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) have issued Clarence Valley Council and Hutchison Builders with prevention notices to address environmental concerns at the former South Grafton Sewage Treatment Plant.

The notices follow two inspections last week where EPA officers observed a large amount of sediment-laden water leaving the site and entering the stormwater system.

The EPA prevention notices state that Clarence Valley Council and Hutchison Builders must now:

  • Engage a consultant to prepare an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan by Wednesday 22 March
  • Implement the Erosion and Sediment Control Plan by Wednesday 29 March
  • Implement an ongoing inspection and maintenance program for erosion and sediment.

EPA Manager Regional Operations North Coast Brett Nudd said it was important to have this preventative work done with more rain expected in the coming weeks.

“We’ve been working with Clarence Valley Council to ensure the necessary upgrades to the erosion and sediment controls are implemented as quickly as possible, to prevent more run off leaving the site and potentially damaging the surrounding area and waterways,” Mr Nudd said.

“These prevention notices are an important step in ensuring that medium term actions are taken to protect the environment.

“We’ve also taken water samples that are being analysed and these results will inform our ongoing investigations.”

The EPA will take a range of factors into account to determine its regulatory response, including the degree of environmental harm, potential health impacts, compliance history, public interest and best environmental outcomes.

Members of the community can report pollution incidents to the EPA’s 24-hour Environment Line on 131 555.