The NSW Land and Environment Court has convicted and fined a Wollongong man for using a place as a waste facility without lawful authority, following prosecution by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA).
As former director of company 3R-Systems, Shaun Albiston pleaded guilty to the charge, after the EPA found up to 2,312 tonnes of contaminated waste stored at a location at Port Kembla in 2016.
The waste comprised processed polyethylene casings from lead-acid batteries, which can potentially threaten human health and the environment if not properly disposed of or stored. Lead can also contaminate land and ground water.
Neither Mr Albiston nor 3R-Systems held an environment protection licence or any other approval to store the waste at the premises.
The Court fined Mr Albiston $22,500, requiring the fine to be paid to the Environmental Trust for general environmental purposes and ordered him to pay $39,868 in legal and investigation costs incurred by the EPA in prosecuting the matter.
EPA Director Major Compliance and Investigations, Greg Sheehy welcomed the Court’s judgment and said the fine should serve as a deterrent.
“The fine handed down by the Court is substantial and a reminder to waste and recycling facilities to be suitably licenced.”
Prosecutions are one of a number of tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance including formal warnings, official cautions, licence conditions, notices and directions.