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Fine for dumping industrial waste

By Cobram Courier

The Environment Protection Authority Victoria has fined Sunbrell Pty Ltd, owned by Moira Shire Council Mayor Libro Mustica, $8060 for dumping industrial waste at a property on Ritchie Rd, Cobram.

EPA north-east region manager Emma Knights said Sunbrell Pty Ltd was also issued with an official notice requiring it clean the site.

‘‘EPA officers inspected the site at 85 Ritchie Rd after receiving a report of possible illegal dumping,’’ Ms Knights said.

‘‘They found a stockpile of industrial waste approximately 25m square and 2m deep, that included concrete, brick, timber, green waste, carpet, plaster, cables and metal.

‘‘There was windblown litter scattered across the property and several small stockpiles of burnt material.’’

A large pit on the site contained burnt material and industrial waste, including treated timber, pallets, plastic strapping, polystyrene, silicon tubes, chemical containers, plastic drill cases, cardboard boxes and domestic waste, such as mattresses, furniture, TVs and plastic chairs.

EPA has issued Sunbrell Pty Ltd with the fine for depositing industrial waste on premises that are not licensed to receive it, in contravention of Section 27A(2) of the Environment Protection Act.

‘‘Depositing industrial waste in such an uncontrolled manner can pollute the soil and groundwater,’’ Ms Knights said.

‘‘As well as the fine, the company has been issued with a clean-up notice requiring it to remove all industrial waste from the site to a facility licensed to accept that type of material.

‘‘EPA will continue to monitor the clean-up of Sunbrell Pty Ltd’s property in Ritchie Rd, Cobram, to ensure the company complies with the clean-up notice by August 14,’’ she said.

Under the Environment Protection Act 1970 and the Infringements Act 2006, the company has the right to have the decision to issue the infringement notice reviewed, however, Cr Mustica had indicated he would be complying with the orders.

‘‘I have no choice but to pay the fine, I broke the EPA’s rules,’’ he said.

‘‘I will pay the fine and move on.

‘‘I have learnt a valuable lesson that I have to do my research about these matters.’’

Cr Mustica told the Courier he has engaged professionals to carry out the clean-up process.