17 November 2022

Man fined more than $55,000 for failing to remove stockpiled waste at Goulburn

| Albert McKnight
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City of Goulburn

A Goulburn man has been fined $55,500 for stockpiling waste in the area. Photo: Goulburn Mulwaree Council.

A man who failed to remove a stockpile of miscellaneous waste at a property in Goulburn has been fined $55,500.

Christopher James Eveston had been an operations manager of a waste and recycling business when he failed to remove, within the required timeframes, about 6860 cubic metres of waste that had become stockpiled at the property.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) said this amount of waste was equal to about 340 eight-tonne trucks.

He pleaded guilty and was convicted on two offences which involved him breaching conditions of an Environmental Protection Licence, according to a recent judgement from the NSW Land and Environment Court.

Judge Rachel Pepper said she was satisfied Eveston’s conduct resulted in potential environmental harm by the generation of leachate from the waste that remained on the property after May and September 2019.

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She also said despite his “asserted impecuniosity”, there were practical measures he could have taken to reduce the potential harm, including covering the stockpile to reduce the generation of leachate by rain.

In an affidavit, Everson said he did not believe environmental damage had occurred.

He said, “In the unlikely event that it may somehow have been caused by the waste remaining on the site after 2019 I sincerely regret that I have not been able to do anything about it until August 2022.”

He argued other court proceedings had resulted in an adverse financial impact on him and meant his waste facility was unable to operate, removing his source of income. He said this resulted in difficulty in removing the waste.

In a statement, NSW EPA executive director of regulatory operations Carmen Dwyer said the EPA required NSW licence holders to operate to the required standards.

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“Leachate generated from stockpiled waste can degrade local ecosystems, contaminate waterways and risk the community’s health,” she said.

“Over the last few years, we know many in the Goulburn community have been concerned about the risks this site presents to the local environment.

“I want to thank the Goulburn community for their assistance, our officers will continue to monitor the site until we are satisfied the risk is removed.”

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