Sunshine West company Future Fuel Services Pty Ltd has been fined $8,261 for dumping contaminated soil on a subdivision development site at Table Hill Rd in Daylesford.
Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) North West Regional Manager Dr Scott Pigdon says the investigation began with calls from concerned members of the public.
“The callers reported numerous truckloads of suspected contaminated soil being deposited at a property in Daylesford. They described how the soil smelled of diesel fuel,” Dr Pigdon said.
Investigating EPA officers found the soil was from excavations on a Midland Highway service station site in Daylesford. The service station was undergoing an upgrade, and the soil was being deposited as clean fill for a property development.
“EPA testing showed the deposited soils were contaminated with hydrocarbons, such as diesel, and sufficiently contaminated to be classified as Prescribed Industrial Waste, which is subject to legal controls in both its handling and disposal,” Dr Pigdon said.
EPA has fined Future Fuel Services Pty Ltd for depositing industrial waste at a place that is not licensed to accept it.
EPA also issued the company with a regulatory notice requiring it to clean up the dumping site, and the company has complied.
“This case is a clear warning that you can’t just dig up, transport and dump contaminated soil without the proper protections for the community and the environment,” Dr Pigdon said.
One of the concerned residents, Dr Patrick Jones, said this week “Residents are relieved the EPA acted swiftly and took our concerns seriously. We hope that observation of site works at the Midland Highway Fuel Station will continue and the waste material removal will be overseen by either Hepburn Shire Council or the EPA.”
Any member of the public can report suspicious activity, and if it constitutes an offence under the Environment Protection Act 1970, EPA can investigate, fine the offender and make them clean it up.