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Environment

Two Newcastle premises fined for polluting

NSW Environment Protection Authority 2 mins read

Multiplex Constructions Pty Ltd and Kooragang Bulk Facilities Pty Ltd have been fined by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA), with penalties totalling $30,000, for alleged breaches of environmental legislation in Newcastle.

Multiplex failed to comply with a Prevention Notice and was fined $15,000 after a pollution control structure known as a “wet basin” failed, causing sediment-laden water to leak from the site of the John Hunter Health and Innovation Precinct.

Wet basins are designed to contain and control sediment-laden water on-site to prevent this material entering our creeks and rivers.

NSW EPA Director of Operations, David Gathercole said it’s not the first time we’ve taken regulatory action against Multiplex for activities at the hospital site.

“Multiplex have now received two penalty notices, one clean-up notice and one prevention notice over the duration of this project,” Mr Gathercole said.

“This is a vital piece of infrastructure for the region, and we know the community would expect operations are undertaken in a manner that protects people and the environment.

"Even more concerning is that Multiplex remained unaware of the situation until days after it occurred.”

A $15,000 fine for water pollution was also issued to Kooragang Bulk Facilities after almost 2000kg of alumina dust was released from a dedust hopper, with some entering and polluting the Hunter River. The incident also allegedly caused air pollution around the Port Newcastle.

The operator has also been issued a formal warning for failing to have appropriate operations and maintenance in place.

Mr Gathercole said Kooragang Bulk Facilities acted promptly in their response and the incident could have been avoided if better systems had been in place.

“The two penalty notices are a reminder to all licensees in the Hunter about their environmental obligations.

“Fortunately, in both instances there was no evidence of significant environmental harm, but we expect all pollution control devices to be operating effectively. If we find non-compliance, we will take action.”

-ENDS-

EPA MEDIA | JULIA BELL | 0427 310 202 | media@epa.nsw.gov.au

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