EPA fines Lion-Dairy & Drinks Pty Ltd $15,000

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined Lion-Dairy & Drinks Pty Ltd $15,000 for not operating in a competent manner in an incident resulting in liquid sugar allegedly being discharged into Lion-Dairy & Drink’s wastewater treatment plant, at Wetherill Park.

On 14 November 2018, a tanker arrived at Lion-Dairy & Drinks Pty to deliver liquid sugar for drinks manufacturing. The tanker driver transferred a load into a storage tank when one of the tank’s manhole doors was open, allegedly resulting in 16,000L of the liquid sugar leaking out from the storage tank and eventually ending up in the waste water treatment system.

EPA Acting Regional Director Metropolitan Peter Marczan said two complaints had been received from neighbouring employees claiming odours from the site were causing them to feel nauseous and generally unwell.

“The EPA conducted an odour survey and determined that yeast odours were being emitted from the Wetherill Park site,” Mr Marczan said.

“Lion-Dairy and Drinks’ environment protection licence for the Wetherill Park site includes a Pollution Reduction Program designed to minimise odours leaving the site, and the EPA acknowledges that the licensee has made significant investment in an odour management system.

“However, on this occasion our investigation revealed that Lion did not have adequate systems in place to prevent the incident which led to the generation of odours from site, and the EPA determined that regulatory action was appropriate.”

“The EPA takes any breach of licence conditions seriously, and in this case, we responded swiftly due to the reported effects on the community.

“The conditions of environment protection licences need to be followed to the letter to ensure the environment and community are protected.”

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