Hi-Quality fined $15,000 for waste storage breaches in St Marys

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined Hi-Quality Waste Management Pty Ltd $15,000 for exceeding the authorised amount of waste they are lawfully permitted to keep on their St Marys resource recovery and recycling facility.

The St Marys facility, on Lee Holm Road, is licensed to accept waste materials including blast furnace slag, soils, building and demolition waste.

On 7 December 2016, Hi-Quality reported to the EPA that the recycling facility was storing waste materials well above the amount the facility is authorised to store.

This incident was the fourth time Hi-Quality had exceeded its limit in 12 months, and came after several warnings from the EPA.

NSW EPA Manager Waste Strategy and Innovation Henry Moore said the waste storage limits were an important tool in managing waste facilities’ effects on both the growing resource recovery market and the environment.

“The EPA places these conditions on environment protection licences to minimise market distortions and environmental effects including offsite impacts like dust, runoff and odours,” Mr Moore said.

“This December incident was not the first time Hi-Quality had exceeded the limits. By not adhering to their licence conditions and stockpiling waste, they put the local environment at risk.”

In addition to issuing the hefty fine, the EPA has requested that Hi-Quality provide details of how they will change their practices to ensure future compliance.

Residents with concerns about the site can call the EPA’s Environment Line on 131 555.

Penalty notices are one of a number of tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance, including formal warnings, licence conditions, notices and directions, mandatory audits, enforceable undertakings, legally binding pollution reduction programs and prosecutions.