The Environment Protection Authority has fined a Sunshine West company $8261 for dumping contaminated soil on a subdivision development at Daylesford.

Future Fuel Services PL was prosecuted after depositing industrial waste at a place not licensed to accept it.

The case began with calls from concerned locals.

“The callers reported numerous truckloads of suspected contaminated soil being deposited at a property – and described how the soil smelled of diesel fuel,” EPA North West Regional Manager Dr Scott Pigdon said.

“Investigating EPA officers found the soil was from excavations on a nearby service station in Daylesford.

“The service station was undergoing an upgrade, and the soil was being deposited as clean fill.

The offence was detected on October 5.

\“EPA testing showed the deposited soils were contaminated with hydrocarbons including diesel, and were sufficiently contaminated to be classified as Prescribed Industrial Waste, which is subject to legal controls in its handling and disposal. ”

He said the company had since complied with a regulatory notice requiring it to clean up the dumping site.

“This case is a clear warning that you can’t just dig up, transport and dump contaminated soil without the proper protections for the community and the environment,” Dr Pigdon said.

“Any member of the public can report suspicious activity, and if it constitutes an offence under the Environment Protection Act 1970, the EPA can investigate, fine the offender and make them clean it up,” he said.

The EPA’s 24 hour hotline is 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842).

The EPA website also has a publication for landholders, titled Illegal dumping alert – Avoid the dangers of taking fill material onto your land: epa.vic.gov.au/about-epa/publications/1512

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Gabrielle Hodson
Author: Gabrielle Hodson

Online, radio, TV and print journalist since 1993. BA (Hum) majoring in journalism Deakin University. Send us a news tip 🙂