EPA fines Leeton mill $15,000 for failing to carry out activities in a competent manner

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined Ricegrowers Limited (trading as Coprice) $15,000 for allegedly breaching its licence requirement to carry out its activities in a competent manner at its Leeton mill.

The company holds an Environment Protection Licence to operate a mill producing livestock feed at Leeton.

The EPA issued the fine after receiving a report on 27 February 2018 that feed product had been spilt onto the roof of the Coprice mill sometime over the weekend of 24 and 25 February and the spilt material had not been cleaned up, posing a potential dust risk to off-site receptors.

This comes after the EPA issued an Official Caution to the company in October last year for dust emissions that left white dust on nearby vehicles and roofs.

EPA Manager Regional Operations Riverina Far West Region Craig Bretherton said residents and businesses surrounding the mill have been unreasonably impacted by dust emissions from the site.

“Coprice are responsible for carrying out licensed activities in a competent manner as well as maintaining and operating all equipment such as the dust collection system in a proper and efficient manner,” Mr Bretherton said.

Coprice subsequently cleaned up the spilt material after being contacted by the EPA.

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