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EPA blitz on polluters across Melbourne

EPA Victoria will this week conduct a compliance blitz across Melbourne. As part of the operation a team of 30 EPA officers will inspect 30 industrial sites that currently have an EPA Pollution Abatement Notice or Clean Up Notice on them. The focus will be compliance with existing notice requirements, said the agency.

EPA’s director of Environmental Services Chris Webb said compliance checks were an essential part of environmental regulation.

“EPA requires companies to look at their EPA notice conditions and effectively manage their environmental responsibilities. These sites have all had an environmental problem in the past and we want to be sure they are on top of their ongoing requirements.”

The blitz will cover the metropolitan and outer Melbourne area and include sites in Altona, Brunswick, Footscray, Somerton, Bulla, Bayswater, Box Hill, Croydon, Braeside and Hastings.

Industries to be targeted include former landfills, contaminated sites, chemical manufacturers, illegal dump sites, electroplating industries, mechanics and food retailers.

The types of things EPA will be assessing against include waste management procedures, chemical and waste containment and treatment systems, environmental management practices, stormwater protection, litter control and general housekeeping.

Webb said the compliance checks send a strong message to industry to keep their house in order or risk possible enforcement action for non-compliance issues.

“EPA has had some surprising results from similar checks across the state, so it will be interesting to see how sites that have ongoing notice conditions on them perform in the metropolitan Melbourne area.”

EPA notices, including Pollution Abatement Notices and Clean Up Notices are issued to sites that have had an environmental or pollution risk. EPA may serve a notice to stop or prevent pollution, to clean up a site, to remove environmental risk or make improvements to management of the site to protect the environment.

The EPA said additional Melbourne blitzes are planned for the New Year.


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