The Northern Cooperative Meat Company at Casino has copped a $15,000 fine from the Environment Protection Agency for failing to meet the requirements of its pollution reduction program.
EPA Manager Regional Operations – North Coast Brett Nudd said the EPA would ‘not accept complacency’ when it came to sustainable waste water management.
Mr Nudd said the EPA had been working with the company for many years seeking to achieve the sustainable management of waste water at its Casino abattoir and tannery in accordance with the EPA’s Guidelines (2004).
‘Waste water generated by the abattoir contains high levels of nutrients which must be carefully managed to prevent impacts on ground and surface water, including the Richmond River catchment,’ Mr Nudd said.
‘While some measures have been implemented to improve the management of waste water in recent years, major improvements are still needed for the company to achieve sustainable waste water management.’
After extended negotiations the EPA issued a Pollution Reduction Program to the company in early 2016 that required the development of a clear plan, which demonstrates how the Company will achieve sustainable wastewater management at the premises by 30 December 2018.
This required the company to submit a report to the EPA by December last year setting out a program of works and measures to achieve this outcome.
‘The report submitted by the company failed to address key issues affecting the performance of the wastewater management system or demonstrate that the site can achieve sustainable reuse of waste water by the end of 2018,’ Mr Nudd said.
‘The company was also required to submit progress updates to the EPA on the development of the report and these have at times been submitted late or have been inadequate.’
Mr Nudd said the the Northern Cooperative Meat Company must commit to a clear program of works, which will deliver sustainable wastewater management by 30 December 2018.”
Pollution Reduction Programs are included on a licensees environment protection licence and are legally binding. The EPA will issue a revised Pollution Reduction Program to the company with a deadline to address the inadequacies in the report and meet the conditions of the program.