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February 28, 2021

Casino saleyards upgrade must reduce pollution: EPA

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Casino saleyards ahead of the planned upgrade. Photo Richmond Valley Council
Casino saleyards ahead of the planned upgrade. Photo Richmond Valley Council

The NSW Environment Protection Authority EPA has included a Pollution Reduction Program on the Richmond Valley Council’s Environment Protection Licence to improve wastewater management at the Casino saleyards.

The site has seen several overflows of wastewater since 2015, which the EPA says is unacceptable.

The council must also produce a plan to deal with the large amounts of manure generated at the saleyards.

Best practice

EPA’s North Coast Regional Operations Manager Brett Nudd said the authority is working with the Richmond Valley Council (RVC) during the upgrade of theNorthern Rivers Livestock Exchange (Casino saleyards) to ensure improvements incorporate best practice wastewater management.

‘Wastewater collected at saleyards can contain high levels of nutrients, which left unmanaged can impact on the surrounding environment,’ Mr Nudd said.

‘The new roof planned for the saleyards will help to reduce the amount of wastewater collected on site by capturing rain as clean water before it hits the saleyards floor and becomes contaminated.

‘However further work needs to be undertaken to ensure that sustainable wastewater management is in place following the upgrade.’

Since 2015 there have been several overflows from the wastewater system at the saleyards.

Monitoring

The Pollution Reduction Program requires the council to undertake a number of actions to review current wastewater management systems on site and the sustainability of its wastewater reuse.

It also requires Council to develop ground and surface water monitoring plans and report on water quality data to ensure that its activities are not impacting on the surrounding environment.

Council must also develop a plan for managing manure generated at the new saleyards.

Mr Nudd said it’s important that the council assesses its current wastewater management practices at the saleyards and looks at ways to improve these as part of the upgrade that’s occurring.

‘The upgrade provides a good opportunity for the council to not only improve the physical infrastructure on the site but also improve its practices to protect the environment from its activities.’

Richmond Valley Council GM Vaughan Macdonald said he is committed to working cooperatively with the EPA to improve wastewater management at the Northern Rivers Livestock Exchange.

‘The NRLX is a key business activity for the council, and is the major marketing centre for the beef industry on the Northern Rivers, and the council is confident the $7 million upgrade will go a long way in addressing the EPA’s concerns,’ Mr Macdonald said.

‘Council is also undertaking works to increase the site’s capacity to manage effluent and put effective procedures in place to improve environmental outcomes for the Richmond Valley.’

Pollution Reduction Programs are legally enforceable. They are typically negotiated with the licensed operator and contain a number of actions that are required to be completed within specific time frames.

 


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