Manufacturing News

Company fined $5k for dodgy drilling waste disposal

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria has fined an engineering and environmental services company over $5,000 for leaving drums of drilling waste on a tract of land in West Footscray.

The incident occurred in May 2010 after a contractor working for Golder Associates finished drilling works and left four, two hundred litre drums containing the drilling waste sitting at the site for three days.

According to EPA, the drums, which were in a publicly visible place, immediately generated reports to the authority from concerned members of the community who believed the unidentified drums of waste had been abandoned.

EPA officers confirmed the presence of the drums and notified Maribyrnong City Council who removed and disposed of the waste.

EPA director of environmental services, Chris Webb, says while the intent may have been there to eventually remove the waste, leaving them unsecured and in a public place for an extended period of time was not how it expects industrial waste to be managed.

“The Environment Protection Act (1970) has provisions in relation to the management of industrial waste,” Webb said.

“We expect to see greater importance placed on environmental risk management and in managing the expectations of the community, who in this instance were none the wiser as to what was in the drums.”

The company cooperated with EPA’s investigation.

Boart Longyear, the drilling contractor, also received a written warning.

The company has 28 days to pay the fine, seek a review or have the matter dealt with in court.

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