EPA issues penalty notice and official caution to Cheminova
Media release: 12 April 2016
The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has issued a $15 000 penalty notice and an official caution to Cheminova Australia for breaching the conditions of its Environment Protection Licence.
EPA Hunter Manager, Adam Gilligan, said that Cheminova had failed to properly store potentially dangerous waste liquids in appropriately bunded areas.
“Bunded areas are designed to contain spillages and leaks of liquids and to facilitate clean-up operations,” Mr Gilligan said.
“Cheminova manufactures insecticide, fungicide and herbicide at its Wyong site. During the manufacturing process there are dangerous waste materials produced. It is critical that these are stored, handled and disposed of in accordance with the conditions in the company’s environment protection licence. This is to ensure that the environment and community are protected.”
During an inspection of the site on 29 January 2016, EPA officers found that the secondary spill containment system at the premises was not being properly maintained and would not have captured a spill of waste material if it occurred.
Following the inspection, and as a result of discussions with Cheminova, approximately 260,000 litres of waste products were removed from the site and disposed of at a licensed facility. The remainder of the waste products were moved into appropriately bunded areas.
Cheminova was issued a penalty notice for failing to store waste material in a competent manner. The company was also issued an official caution for failing to operate plant and equipment in a proper and efficient manner. The EPA will monitor the environmental performance of the facility.
Penalty notices are one of a number of tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance, including formal warnings, licence conditions, notices and directions, mandatory audits, enforceable undertakings, legally binding pollution reduction programs and prosecutions.
The EPA must also take a range of factors into account before delivering a proportionate regulatory response, including the degree of environmental harm, whether or not there are any real or potential health impacts, if the action of the offender was deliberate, compliance history, public interest and best environmental outcomes.
For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm.