The unidentified man from Point Cook, in Victoria, was given a $1,934 fine by the Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA), following an investigation of a truckload of muddy slurry on a nearby housing development.
According to EPA, a member of the public spotted the truck dumping the load on a block in the early hours of the morning of 19 September 2018 and reported it to the authority.
“The witness noted the truck’s registration number and called EPA. It made all the difference; we were able to trace the truck and contact the owner with comparative ease,” the agency’s regional manager, Daniel Hunt, said.
“A load of slurry might not seem to be much of an environmental threat, but it is industrial waste, the site is someone’s block in a housing estate, and the danger with unlicensed dumping is that it could contain just about anything.
“Even a load of mud could affect fish and other aquatic life if it is washed into a storm drain and from there into a local creek.”
Thankfully, samples of the mud did not reveal any contaminants. But with no approval to dispose of the waste on the site, and no arrangement made with the land owner, EPA issued the infringement notice to the owner of the truck.
The truck owner allegedly told EPA officers that the waste had been dumped accidentally by a former employee.
It noted that the man has the right to have the penalty reviewed or have the matter heard in court. The agency is also considering whether to insist the truck owner remove the waste and clean up the site.
A spokesperson for the EPA said the agency could not provide any more information on the matter given the possibility that it could still go to court.