EPA fines Century Batteries for non-compliant transportation of dangerous goods

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has issued a $4,000 fine to Century Yuasa Batteries Pty Limited (Century Batteries) for the transportation of dangerous goods with false or misleading documentation.

On 24 August 2015 EPA officers at the Heavy Vehicle Checking Station at Mount White inspected a vehicle consigned by Century Batteries. The officers identified that the load on the vehicle included 34 tonnes of waste ferrous batteries, lead dross, lead paste, lead waste paint and lead contaminated battery plates, which are classified as dangerous goods under the Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Good by Road and Rail – 2007 (the ADG Code).

Transport documentation presented by the driver to EPA officers did not include sufficient information about the consigned goods, which is an offence under clause 121 of the Dangerous Goods (Road and Rail Transport) Regulation 2014. Accurate and detailed documentation is critical as it ensures response agencies can make informed decisions about the treatment of potentially dangerous substances, if the vehicle is involved in an incident or there is a loss of containment.

The EPA officers also found that the load was not stowed and restrained in accordance with the ADG Code (a separate Penalty Notice was issued to the driver for this breach), that the vehicle was not displaying appropriate placards, and that the markings and labels on the dangerous goods did not fully comply with the Code.

EPA Manager Hunter Region, Adam Gilligan, said the multiple breaches present a risk to the vehicle’s driver, other road users, emergency services, and the environment.

“The Code exists to protect people and the environment.” Mr Gilligan said.

“Century Batteries is required by law to ensure all relevant staff understand and comply with the legislation, to minimise the risk associated with transportation of dangerous goods.”