Michelin and Sons convicted and ordered to pay $43,550 for water pollution on the NSW South Coast

The Land and Environment Court has convicted John Michelin and Son Pty Ltd (Michelin) of polluting waters near Eden on the south coast of New South Wales.

The Court imposed a $43,550 penalty against Michelin following successful prosecution by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA). The Court found that Michelin had polluted waters when it pumped contaminated water into a table drain that descended into an ephemeral creek, an intermittent closed and open lake and lagoon, and East Boyd Bay. 

The offence occurred in 2017 when Michelin was cleaning out a dam on a property, and the Court found that the offence caused environmental harm to the waterways.

EPA Acting Chief Environmental Regulator David Fowler said that discoloured water was witnessed in East Boyd Bay following the incident and black water was observed in a creek downstream of the incident for up to a week after the pumping ceased.

“Water samples taken by EPA officers from the source that was pumped into the table drain indicate the incident altered the characteristics of the water in surrounding waterways.”

The Court found that Michelin employees were working under the instruction of the owner of the property and were not provided with an environment management plan or an induction to the premises’ stormwater management system.

In handing down the penalty, the Court noted that Michelin was of good corporate character, had not previously been convicted of an environmental offence and had been cooperative with the EPA’s investigation. The penalty amount will be paid to an environmental project in the Eden area and managed through the Environmental Trust.

The EPA investigates all reports of potential pollution and encourages anyone with a concern, or knowledge of polluted waterways in their local area, to contact the 24-hour Environment Line on 131 555.