More Curdies River dairy farm inspections

EPA Victoria is concerned Curdies River Catchment dairy farms in the Otways are allowing pollution control standards to slip following the most recent round of snap inspections.

This is the second consecutive year of unannounced EPA inspections on dairy farms in the region as part of EPA’s commitment to the Curdies River Coordinating Committee (CRCC – formerly the Curdies River Consultative Committee) – a group led by the Corrangamite Catchment Management Authority comprised of government agencies, industry and community members committed to improving the waterway’s health.

The Curdies River experienced blue green algae blooms on several occasions triggering the formation of the CRCC in 2022.

“In 2022 we inspected farms in the lower catchment area. We were pleased with the inspection results, finding only two out of 25 farms to be non-compliant,” EPA Southwestern Regional Manager Tanya McAteer said.

“In November 2023, we inspected farms in the upper catchment area. The results were not as positive. Our officers issued a total of 16 legally enforceable notices to 14 farms to ensure risks on farms are adequately managed. The main issues we identified were effluent pond management and chemical storage.

“Improperly controlled effluent or chemicals stored without proper containment puts the surrounding environment and waterways at risk.”

EPA officers also observed many duty holders had not registered their waste tyres.

“Waste tyres must be stored in a way that minimizes risk of fires. That’s why EPA requires you to register your tyres if you have more than 5m3 on site.”

“We gave a lot of formal compliance advice. This means those who are operating farms have a greater state of knowledge of the risks they need to manage.

“It’s everyone’s business to protect the environment , so alongside our inspections we ran a series of community engagement activities to build community and industry awareness of environmental laws and acknowledge the proactive work being done by the CRCC.

“We’ll be returning to the properties over the next few months to check progress is being made on those notices.”

EPA provides advice and guidance for managing dairy effluent, chemical storage and waste tyre registration:

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