Prosecution and regulatory snapshot
Over October-December 2019, EPA prosecutions realised close to $600,000 in fines. Here we feature a snapshot of three cases.
Court fines company $132,000 for radiation security and safety breaches
Following a successful prosecution by the EPA, the NSW Land and Environment Court fined Gammasonics Institute for Medical Research Pty Ltd a total of $132,000 for radiation offences relating to the transport and storage of a radioactive device in Sydney.
Two of the charges related to Gammasonics transporting an irradiator, a medical device used for sterilising blood, in May 2016 from Five Dock to Lane Cove, in breach of its security transport plan and the safety requirements of Radiation Control legislation.
EPA Executive Director Hazardous Incidents and Environmental Health Stephen Beaman said licensing and regulation was in place to protect the public and the environment.
“There are strict rules under the Radiation Control legislation to make sure radioactive materials are used, stored and transported safely,” he said.
Gammasonics was also ordered to pay the EPA’s legal costs.
Two waste companies caught on paper and plastic
In January, the Land and Environment Court has convicted and penalised a subsidiary of Bingo Industries Ltd, Minto Recycling Pty Ltd for breaching its environment protection licence by receiving excessive amounts of waste at its former licenced waste processing facility in Minto. The Court ordered Minto Recycling to pay $90,000 to the Environmental Trust.
The EPA alleged Minto Recycling exceeded its waste limit by 139,000 tonnes in 2016-17. Under the licence, the premises was only permitted to receive a maximum of 30,000 tonnes of waste per year.
The Minto Recycling prosecution comes after Liverpool Local Court convicted Paper Trade Processing (Aust) Pty Ltd on four charges of breaching its environment protection licence and one charge of failing to comply with an EPA notice for information and records. The Court ordered Paper Trade to pay a total of $37,000 in fines as well as the EPA’s legal and investigation costs of almost $8,000.
EPA officers visited Paper Trade’s premises in Moorebank, NSW on four occasions between May and August 2018 and observed that Paper Trade was storing waste bales of paper, cardboard and soft plastics in the outside area of its premises in breach of a condition of its licence.
A truck driver was fined $750 for alleged offences relating to the transport of asbestos waste
Truck driver fined for transport of asbestos
The EPA fined a Sydney truck driver $750 in December 2019 for alleged offences relating to the transport of asbestos waste in northwest Sydney.
The driver was involved in an accident in July while transporting demolition waste containing asbestos.
EPA Director Waste Compliance Greg Sheehy said the crash happened during the transportation of waste from Kellyville to Marsden Park, after the driver had been turned away from a landfill because his load contained loose asbestos.
“Sampling by EPA officers indicated an estimated seven tonne load was being transported without any evidence of attempts to securely package asbestos material. The EPA alleges that following the crash, demolition waste containing loose asbestos spilled onto the road,” Mr Sheehy said.
For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy.