Be prepared for severe weather this summer

The EPA is reminding licensees to be prepared for severe weather events this summer and to ensure they have emergency response plans in place.

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast a ‘La Nina’ which presents an increased risk of widespread flooding and tidal flooding, and coastal erosion. There is also a higher risk of severe thunderstorms on and inland of the Great Dividing Range.

The Rural Fire Service has advised that good rainfall and mild weather conditions have contributed to prolific grass growth along with lower stock levels following the recent drought. This increased grass load means the risk of grass fires will also increase in some parts of NSW as fuel loads dry out over summer.

EPA’s Executive Director Stephen Beaman urges licensees and all businesses to be ready to activate their Pollution Incident Response Management Plan (PIRMP).

“Run-through your PIRMP and make sure your staff are aware of the expected conditions over the coming months,” Mr Beaman said.

“You need to  know emergency evacuation procedures and their roles and responsibilities under the plan.”

“Premises that contain sediment and erosion control dams should ensure water levels are being managed in a way that enables inflows and that all sediment and erosion controls are maintained to ensure they are stable in high stormwater flow conditions.

“If you are the owner of a declared dam you are also reminded to review your operations and maintenance plan and emergency plan to ensure that you are prepared for abnormal operating conditions and flood risks.”

Special advice

  • If you undertake high-risk activities, ensure you have appropriate monitoring and controls in place to minimise potential impacts.
  • Keep up to date with the latest information on bushfires at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au, and for floods and storms at www.ses.nsw.gov.au.
  • If you have questions or need assistance around environmental protection, contact the EPA can be contacted at info@epa.nsw.gov.au or by phone 131 555.