EPA commences prosecutions related to WestConnex-St Peters odours

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has commenced prosecution proceedings in the Land and Environment Court against CPB Contractors Pty Ltd for allegedly causing offensive odours from the WestConnex St Peters M5 Interchange site on four occasions in 2017.

The EPA alleges that on 27 April, 23 May, 26 May and 9 June, CPB caused offensive odours to be emitted from the St Peters site, in contravention of section 129 of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act. A contravention of section 129 can attract a maximum penalty of $1 million for a corporation.  

Between March and July 2017, the EPA received numerous complaints from members of the public in suburbs surrounding the M5 Interchange site about odour.

Over this period, the EPA imposed a range of further obligations on CPB to address concerns about the odours allegedly associated with works at the site. These obligations were required under prevention and clean up notices and through CPB’s environment protection licence and included a requirement for CPB to undertake a pollution reduction study and to stop excavation works until a second leachate treatment plant was installed.

The EPA also issued a penalty notice to CPB for allegedly emitting offensive odours from the St Peters site in March 2017.

CPB Contractors Pty Ltd holds an environment protection licence, administered by the EPA, to carry out road construction activities at the M5 Interchange site at St Peters, which is located at the former Alexandria landfill. As part of construction, CPB engaged a contractor to exhume and relocate onsite up to 350,000 tonnes of waste from the former landfill.

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