Vales Point Power Station fined $30,000 for pollution and waste offences
The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined Sunset Power International Pty Ltd trading as Delta Electricity (Delta) $30,000 for licence breaches at Vales Point Power Station when contaminated material, including asbestos, was allegedly spread on the Central Coast site.
The EPA has issued Delta with two Penalty Notices for allegedly causing land pollution and unlawfully using the premises as a waste facility.
Delta has been progressively rehabilitating various ponds of the Vales Point Power Station ash dam, using a contractor to import excavated natural material to carry out the works.
EPA Director Regulatory Operations Adam Gilligan said Delta advised the EPA in September 2018 that it had identified that material classified as general solid waste had been accepted on the site.
“The premises received waste that it was not licenced to accept, which resulted in contaminated fill being imported and spread on site.”
Mr Gilligan said the EPA has issued Delta with a clean-up notice requiring works to make the site safe, and to assess and quantify the waste.
“The EPA has issued Delta a clean-up notice to remove various surface stockpiles of asbestos waste and we are continuing to liaise with them regarding options for dealing with the remainder of the waste in the long term.
“Fortunately, on this occasion the waste was in an area that posed little risk to the community.”
Since this occurred Delta has made a number of improvements to their systems and procedures regarding accepting waste.
“It is important to be aware of the risks involved when accepting dirt and other materials like this. If the correct procedures are not in place - it can lead to large fines and damage to the environment,” Mr Gilligan said.
The EPA investigates all reports of inappropriate transport or disposal of asbestos and reports can be made to the 24-hour EPA Environment Line on 131 555.
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 www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm