Prescribed wastes for land pollution offence

To better protect people’s health and the environment, the EPA enforces strict rules to deter illegal dumping of waste including asbestos, waste tyres, hazardous waste, and restricted solid waste. This sends a strong signal to polluters that dumping waste is not tolerated in NSW, and those in breach of the law will pay.

Section 142A of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (POEO Act) provides an offence for a person who pollutes land.

The Protection of the Environment Operations(General) Regulation 2009 lists wastes automatically deemed to be land pollution under the POEO Act.  

These wastes automatically deemed to be land pollution include

  • hazardous waste
  • restricted solid waste
  • >10 tonnes of asbestos waste
  • >5 tonnes of waste tyres or more than 500 waste tyres

Those who pollute the land face significant penalties under the POEO Act. For those found guilty of dumping these wastes, courts can impose penalties of up to

  • $1,000,000 for corporations
  • $250,000 for individuals

What defences are there?

The defences in the POEO Act relating to land pollution (sections 142B, C, D and E) continue to apply.

The regulation also provides a defence against a land pollution charge for unlicensed landfills, if those facilities maintain certain minimum standards.


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