Narrandera Shire Council fined $8000 for fire and smoke

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has issued an $8000 fine to Narrandera Shire Council following a fire at its landfill in August 2018.

EPA Regional Manager Riverina Far West Craig Bretherton said an investigation by the EPA found that a considerable pile of green waste was allegedly left to burn to a point where adverse smoke impacted on Narrandera residents over two days, resulting in 13 complaints to the EPA’s Environment Line.

“The smoke impacts were foreseeable and preventable if proper procedures had been implemented by Council when they became aware of the fire in the green waste area of the landfill.

“When a fire occurs, it needs to be responded to quickly and managed appropriately with community health and environmental risk front and center in all decisions and actions.

“On this occasion, an inadequate response by Council meant the local community was unnecessarily impacted by smoke. The incident was preventable, and so a fine has been issued.”

As a result of this incident Council has advised the EPA they have updated and improved their incident response measures at the landfill based on lessons learnt from the fire.

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/proscguid.htm

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