The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) says it has fined a Tenterfield-based business $15, 000.
In a press release on Monday the EPA said Townes Contracting Group had allegedly run a quarry on Woodford Island, near Maclean on the NSW North Coast, without a required licence.
An EPA spokesman confirmed 57 quarries were licensed in the North Coast Region, with another four temporary quarries licenced for work associated with the Pacific Highway upgrade.
EPA Regional Director North Adam Gilligan said quarries that extract, process or store more than 30,000 tonnes a year must be licensed to make sure potential environmental impacts are minimised and managed.
Mr Gilligan said while authorities hadn’t found any environmental impacts from the company’s activities so far, Townes Contracting Group had extracted almost 100, 000 tonnes between August 2018 and May 2019.
An EPA spokesman wasn’t sure what exactly the company was mining but the Townes Contracting Group website said it was a building company with business in earthworks.
‘Large scale extraction activities have the potential to impact on water quality if sediment laden run-off leaves the site,’ Mr Gilligan said. ‘Dust and noise can also be an issue if not managed properly’.
The EPA said it was the first time the agency had fined Townes Contracting Group and the company could pay the fine, seek a review, or take the matter to court.
Townes Contracting Group was asked for comment.