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Macquarie River pollution costs Dubbo sand quarry almost $250,000

NSW Environment Protection Authority < 1 mins read

A sand quarry near Dubbo has been fined $210,000 after polluting the Macquarie River with dirty water.


Sand Quarries Australia Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of MAAS Group Holdings Limited, was fined in Dubbo Local Court yesterday after the Court found sediment-laden water discharged into the river.


The pollution occurred after a failure in their sand processing water circuit and the quarry continued to operate without inspecting the circuit.


NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Executive Director Operations, Jason Gordon thanked the community members who reported the pollution.


“We started investigating this incident after two people fishing, noticed, and reported dirty water flowing down the bank into the water from the premises.


“The water from the quarry polluted the Macquarie River with high levels of sediment, causing significant erosion to the riverbank and potentially impacting on fish habitat.


“The Macquarie River, Wambuul, is beautiful and holds significant environmental, cultural, economic, and recreational importance in the local region.


“It’s unacceptable Sand Quarries Australia failed to take steps to prevent the incident occurring, including their failure to do routine inspections on their site.”


The company was found guilty of two water pollution offences, and also ordered to pay the EPA’s legal costs of $34,056.87 and investigation costs of $1,952.


They were also ordered to take action to remediate damage to the riverbank and take preventative actions to stop future leaks, spills and other escapes.


Members of the public are encouraged to report pollution incidents, including poor sediment control, to their local council or the EPA’s 24/7 Environment Line on 131 555.

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