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NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) 1 min read

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined an individual $8,250 for allegedly causing the death of a large number of crayfish in a tributary of Hazelbrook Creek in the Blue Mountains last August.


The EPA has issued two penalty notices after its investigation found nearly 40 litres of the diluted pesticide Bifenthrin accidentally spilt on the driveway of a private property which eventually flowed into the stormwater system, causing a major crayfish kill along 600 metres of the creek.


The pesticide was detected in water, sediment, and crayfish samples collected from the impacted creek. Bifenthrin is commonly used for general pest control, such as termites, spiders, ants, and cockroaches and is highly toxic to crayfish and other aquatic organisms.


EPA Executive Director of Regulatory Operations, Jason Gordon said the pollution incident was preventable and had major consequences.


“The individual had the opportunity to clean up the spill to prevent further harm but failed to do so,” Mr Gordon said.


“While we are pleased the person responsible came forward on their own accord, we are committed to holding individuals accountable for actions that endanger our precious ecosystems.  


“The misuse and mishandling of pesticides can have devastating impacts on our waterways, which are home to animals like the Giant Spiny Crayfish.


“This unfortunate incident serves as an important reminder of responsible pesticide use and handling practices to safeguard our waterways and ecosystems.


"All individuals and businesses are urged to handle chemicals carefully and to ensure that all measures are taken to prevent spills and contamination.”


The two fines relate to breaching the Pesticides Act 1999 and the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 for harming a non-target animal and polluting waters.


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