Hurd Haulage to pay $72,000 to local Landcare groups after EPA investigation

Mid-north coast concrete supplier, Hurd Haulage Pty Ltd, will pay $72,000 to local Landcare groups after a NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) investigation unearthed the poor practices the company was using to dispose of concrete by-products.

Hurd Haulage has entered into an Enforceable Undertaking with the EPA after an investigation found that the company had been improperly disposing of slurry-like by-products including liquid and solid concrete wash-out at its quarry and other lots on Yarrabee Road, Cooperabung, and at a site in Kooragang, in Newcastle.

After reviewing records back to 2008, the EPA also found other locations had potentially received the by-products, including unlicensed sites in Bellimbopinni, Blackman’s Point, Clybucca, Kinchela, Macksville and West Kempsey.

EPA Manager of Waste Compliance Cate Woods said the money was a win for the local environment and community.

“Hurd Haulage made a mistake by incorrectly disposing of their by-products and were fortunate this time that the environmental impacts were contained,” Ms Woods said.

“I’m pleased to see that Hurd Haulage have agreed to pay $36,000 each to Hastings Landcare and Macleay Landcare to assist their environmental works. That money will make a real difference to their work to rehabilitate the local environment.”

Under the Enforceable Undertaking agreed to by Hurd Haulage, the company will also invest up to $50,000 in developing a new training module for their staff that outlines best-practice for concrete by-product transportation, storage, processing and disposal by July 2017.

“Education of staff and the industry is essential in making sure these sorts of incidents don’t happen again,” Ms Woods said.

“This training module will be shared with Cement Concrete and Aggregates Australia and has the potential to improve the concrete industry’s environmental performance for years to come."

Enforceable Undertakings are just one of a number of tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance from industry. They are mechanisms that allow alleged wrongdoers or those with poor environmental practices, to voluntarily enter into a binding agreement to undertake tasks to restore the harm caused to the environment and the community Other tools the EPA uses to ensure environmental compliance include official cautions, penalty notices, notices and directions, mandatory audits and, when necessary, prosecutions.