Tamworth Regional Council fined $15,000 for alleged quarry offences

Tamworth Regional Council has been fined $15,000 by the NSW Environment Protection Authority for allegedly operating without a licence at its Spains Lane quarry.

In August 2018, EPA officers visited the quarry following reports of excessive dust emissions and discovered a large quantity of material being excavated and stored at the quarry.

EPA Manager Regional Operations Lindsay Fulloon said that, on the basis of information provided to the EPA by Council, it is alleged the quarry had been operating over the annual licensing threshold of 30,000 tonnes from 2016 to 2018, without holding the required Environment Protection Licence.

“The quarry extracted more than 30,000 tonnes of material over two consecutive financial years, including 34,000 tonnes in one year and 60,000 tonnes in another.

“For this level of activity, Council should have applied for an Environment Protection Licence, which it hadn’t done,” Mr Fulloon said.

Since the EPA raised these issues with Council, it has taken steps to cease its operations at the site to ensure it does not exceed the licensing threshold again, and it has applied for a licence. Council has also taken steps to ensure that its other quarry operations remain compliant.

Tamworth Regional Council cooperated with the EPA investigation and has no prior history in relation to the offence.

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. In this instance the EPA issued a penalty notice. The notice recipient may pay the penalty notice, seek a review, or elect to have the matter determined by a court

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