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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Concrete company fined over Bendigo Creek contamination

EPA Victoria has fined the operator of a concrete company more than $5,500 after tracing contamination in Bendigo Creek back to the company’s batching plant in Golden Square.

Hanson Construction Materials Pty Ltd was fined $5,548 for unlawfully depositing waste of more than 50 litres but not more than 1,000 litres into the Bendigo Creek.

EPA North-West Region Manager, Dr Scott Pigdon said the case began on August 9 when a member of the public reported a grey coloured discharge entering the creek from a stormwater drain.

“EPA officers investigated that day and found a stormwater pipe in the creek wall with grey crusting and staining, and a white/grey stain in the creek bed,” Dr Pigdon said.

“Field observations showed water in the Bendigo Creek had been affected, and they traced the pipe back to the Hanson Concrete Batching Plant in Thistle St, Golden Square,” he said.

A company employee told EPA the plant had a system for recycling the wash water used on its trucks, but the pump on the recycling system had failed and wastewater had been escaping into a stormwater drain unnoticed.

Discharging waste via stormwater is an offence under the Environment Protection Act 2017. The company was ordered to immediately seal the stormwater pit entrance at the plant to stop any more wastewater from entering the stormwater system.

“Every Victorian and every business has a responsibility to take reasonable steps to prevent pollution and harm from their activities, and while EPA resolves many problems with advice or legally enforceable Environmental Action Notices, we don’t hesitate to fine or prosecute where harm is being done,” Dr Pigdon said.

Under the Environment Protection Act 2017 and the Infringements Act 2006, the operator has the right to have the infringement notice reviewed or be considered by a court.

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