Snap Building Inspections In Macedon Ranges Shire

EPA Victoria is joining forces with Macedon Ranges Shire Council and warning local construction businesses that there will be some surprise visits to local construction sites next week (week starting 8 April).

EPA will work with council to ensure builders, developers and construction workers are meeting their safety, environmental and building compliance obligations.

The joint operation is similar to those run in other regional areas including Mildura, Bass Coast, Shepparton, Bairnsdale, Ballarat, Wodonga, Geelong and Bendigo.

The EPA is focusing inspections on construction site management, particularly dust, sediment run off and waffle pods which are too often allowed to escape site boundaries.

Council will focus on ensuring requirements are being met for building sites under Council’s Community Local Law 2023, including secure site fencing, suitable refuse and sanitary facilities, and asset protection measures.

EPA has recently used its powers issuing fines to companies that have failed in their duty to act to prevent harm to the environment, including a demolition company that was fined nearly $2,000 for discharging waste sludge into stormwater drains.

“EPA is looking for typical building site pollution that can cause offsite impacts like dust, contaminated stormwater, sediment, paper and plastic packaging, and newcomers like polystyrene scraps from the wafflepods used when laying concrete,” said EPA North West Regional Manager Paul Ratajczyk.

“Where businesses are ready to do their best we provide advice, but our priority is the environment, and we can step up to official notices or fines if necessary. We’ll also increase awareness of the General Environmental Duty (GED) and environmental laws that apply to the construction and demolition industry, to prevent harm to human health and the environment.”

EPA says it wants the local construction industry to be aware that at any time during the week, we could be dropping in and will use its powers to enforce compliance, but it hopes it doesn’t have to act.

“Council is committed to ensuring our environment is protected and that builders operating in the Macedon Ranges are abiding by our local laws. We’ll continue to collaborate with other authorities – such as the EPA – to enforce compliance and improve understanding,” saidMacedon Ranges Shire Council Director Environment and Planning, Rebecca Stockfeld.

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