NSW EPA fines Hydromet $15,000 for poor waste storage practices

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has issued a fine of $15,000 to hazardous waste company Hydromet Corporation Pty Ltd, after alleged inadequate waste storage practices were identified at their premises in Unanderra.

Hydromet is required under the conditions of their environmental license to store waste in a safe and secure manner at all times. This also includes the appropriate processing, handling and moving of materials and substances.

When inspecting the Unanderra property the EPA alleges it found wastes stored in an unsafe manner and without adequate containment.

EPA Director of Hazmat Chemicals and Radiation Asela Atapattu said the fine reflected the seriousness of the offence.

“Waste facilities are required to adhere to strict operating conditions to prevent potential harm to the environment and the community occurring,” Mr Atapattu said.

“On this occasion, poor waste storage practices by the facility meant that there was potential for contamination to the environment.

“There are protocols in place to ensure that community health and environmental wellbeing are front and center in all decisions and actions.”

In response to the issues identified during the EPA inspection, Hydromet took immediate steps to move the hazardous waste to an appropriate storage area.

The EPA also required the company, through a Prevention Notice, to improve its storage of waste and carry out an assessment into possible soil and groundwater contamination.

Penalty notices are one of several 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 https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/licensing-and-regulation/legislation-and-compliance