THE NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has issued an $8,000 fine to Quarry Solutions for certifying as correct statements in their 2014/2015 annual return that were false and misleading.
Their investigations also revealed the company had exceeded the annual extraction limit permitted by the licence.
The licensee was issued with an official caution for this second offence
EPA Manager North Coast Region, Brett Nudd, said Quarry Solutions Pty Ltd, which operates Valla Quarry, had certified in the annual return for the quarry that all conditions of the licence had been complied with during the reporting period for 2014-2015.
“However, the EPA’s official records showed the company had conducted activities outside the approved operating hours on one occasion during this reporting period and had been issued a formal warning for this non-compliance,” Mr Nudd said.
“The company was aware of this non-compliance and this should have been reflected in the company’s annual return.”
Mr Nudd said annual returns formed a critical element of the EPA’s licensing system, requiring operators to sign a statement of compliance, confirming whether or not they had complied with the licence conditions and also detailing the results of environmental monitoring undertaken by the operator.
“The EPA views providing false or misleading statements in an Annual Return as a very serious issue. Accurate reporting and disclosure of non-compliances is a critical element that underpins the integrity of the EPA’s licensing system.”
Regarding the second matter Mr Nudd said was actively monitoring the volume of material being extracted by licensed quarries and encouraged quarry operators to closely monitor the volumes they are extracting to ensure that the remain in compliance with their licence conditions.
The Guardian contacted Quarry Solutions for a response.
* For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy at: http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm.
To report an incident of air, noise or water pollution, contact the EPA’s Environment Line on 131 555, which operates 24 hours per day, seven days per week.