2002 February: Prospect Creek Sydney. Pesticide spill, fish kill

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Man fined $35,000 over pesticide spill

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A man has been fined $35,000 over a pesticide spill that polluted Prospect Creek, in Sydney’s west, killing tonnes of aquatic life.

Richard John Hopley pleaded guilty to his role in the disaster.

More than three tonnes of fish, eels and aquatic life were killed after almost 1,000 litres of pesticide spilled into Prospect Creek in February last year.

The accident occurred when a container holding the pesticide fell off a forklift and split open, sending almost the entire contents onto the road and into the stormwater system.

The state’s Environment Protection Authority took the matter to the Land and Environment Court where Richard Hopley pleaded guilty to employing a person to transport dangerous goods who did not have a licence to do so.

Justice Dennis Cowdroy today fined Hopley $35,000, saying he had reduced the penalty by $15,000 because of the guilty plea and the fact that he had co-operated with the authorities.