4 November 2022

'Too many cases' of builders not complying with pollution rules in Eurobodalla

| Albert McKnight
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Eurobodalla Council is investigating allegations of pollution at building sites. Photo: ESC.

Due to an increasing number of builders not complying with necessary measures to stop pollution, Eurobodalla Shire Council is warning them to stick to the rules – otherwise they could end up with a fine.

In May 2022, the local court upheld an $8000 fine issued against a non-compliant building company while also awarding council legal costs.

A community member had given video footage to council’s rangers of sediment-laden matter coming off the building site during rain. The rangers investigated and validated the complaint.

The magistrate had summed up the matter by telling the company’s director of the significant impact on the nearby aquaculture industry and waterways by not maintaining suitable sediment control measures on the construction site.

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In another incident, rangers were patrolling Catalina in October 2022 when they saw a significant amount of sand and sediment-laden water running into a stormwater drain and Hanging Rock Creek.

The source of the pollution was allegedly traced to a nearby building site, where it is alleged that sediment and erosion controls were inadequate and not installed in accordance with approved consent. Council is following up on this matter.

Council’s environmental services manager Deb Lenson said an increasing number of builders weren’t complying with pollution measures required on construction sites.

“While some water overflow is expected in wet weather, there are too many cases where sediment and erosion fencing is non-existent or not maintained at all, and in some cases runoff from sites is actively being diverted – illegally – into waterways,” she said.

To avoid polluting waterways and incurring fines, Ms Lenson said builders and contractors should make sure their sites have adequate environmental control measures in place and that these controls are maintained throughout construction.

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“Council rangers patrol known development areas to ensure developers and builders are complying with their consents and to remind them of their responsibilities,” she said.

“We try to work cooperatively with the builders and the majority are doing the right thing.”

Council has set up a weather alert notification system to prompt builders to check their sites and pollution controls. To register for these email notifications, contact council’s environment team on 4474 1019 or [email protected].

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