Company fined $75,000 for misleading EPA in an investigation

Metropolitan Demolition and Recycling Pty Ltd has been convicted and fined $75,000* in the Downing Centre Local Court for knowingly providing false and misleading information in response to a statutory notice issued by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

Metropolitan Demolition and Recycling Pty Ltd pleaded guilty to the charge on 18 December 2017.

After an earlier inspection of the Metropolitan Demolition and Recycling waste facility at St Peters, the EPA requested an explanation for the purpose of a diary used by the company. Metropolitan Demolition and Recycling informed the EPA that the purpose of the diary was to estimate load weights and improve quoting purposes for the transport of demolition waste. However, the EPA alleged this was false – the primary purpose of the diary was to avoid RMS fees by underreporting overloaded trucks.

Metropolitan Demolition and Recycling provides specialist demolition and civil services including hired plant, recycled and reusable products to various industry sectors and the general public.

EPA Chief Environmental Regulator Mark Gifford said the supply of the false information undermined the regulatory objectives of the legislation and impeded the investigative powers of the EPA.

“It is critical to the entire regulatory scheme that individuals and organisations do the right thing. The EPA does not tolerate those who attempt to derail our investigations by providing false information, and we are pleased the Court supported this view,” Mr Gifford said.

Prosecutions 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. For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy at www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm

*The Court also ordered Metropolitan Demolition and Recycling to pay the EPA’s legal costs of $5,000.