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2 September 2010

Horsham City Council has received a $5,841 fine from EPA Victoria for accepting Category A waste at its Dooen landfill in March this year.The incident occurred after a waste transporter delivered approximately two tonnes of contaminated soil from a transformer fire at the Horsham Powercor Sub-Station.

The soil was accepted by the landfill without any documentation or analytical results to verify the contamination levels, which is a requirement of Dooen landfill’s EPA licence. During its investigation, EPA obtained evidence that the Council had recorded the waste as being Category C waste, which is a lower grade classification of waste, and could not have been known, in the absence of analytical results.

EPA’s north west regional manager Tim Eaton said landfills can have serious long term and ongoing impacts to the environment if they are not managed properly.

“Landfill operators take a huge risk in not following the correct procedures for accepting prescribed industrial waste,” he said. “Just taking someone’s word on the waste you receive is not only risky but also a breach of the Environment Protection Act. “The message is very simple - if you don’t have the documents to verify contamination levels, don’t accept the waste.”

The waste transporter was also issued with an official warning by EPA for transporting prescribed waste on a highway with no permit to do so.

The Council has 28 days to pay the fine, seek an internal review or have the matter dealt with in court.