EPA fines Hardy's Excavations $15,000 for sand extraction without a licence

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has issued a $15,000 penalty notice to Hardy’s Excavations Pty Limited for extracting sand from Eaton’s Quarry at Bagotville near Ballina without holding an environment protection licence.

EPA Manager North Coast Region Brett Nudd said that a licence is required for quarry operators who extract more than 30,000 tonnes of material per annum.

“An EPA investigation revealed that Hardy’s operation was over the threshold, having extracted over 38,500 tonnes of sand in the period from 3 July 2014 to 30 October 2014,” he said.

Mr Nudd said that operators must carefully monitor the volume of material they are producing and ensure they have a licence, if required.

“Large scale extraction activities have the potential to impact on water quality if sediment laden run-off leaves the site. Dust and noise can also be an issue if not managed properly.”

“While there was no environmental impact detected from Hardy’s activities, it is vital that an environment protection licence is in place, where required, to prevent pollution,” he said.

Penalty Notices 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, mandatory audits, enforceable undertakings, legally binding pollution reduction programs and prosecutions.

The EPA must also take a range of factors into account before delivering a proportionate regulatory response, including the degree of environmental harm, whether or not there are any real or potential health impacts, if the action of the offender was deliberate, compliance history, public interest and best environmental outcomes.

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