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Stormwater Spill Costs Over $120,000

Dead Fish

Dead Fish

A Wagga Wagga plywood manufacturer has been fined $67,000 and ordered to pay nearly $60,000 in costs after pleading guilty in the Land and Environment Court to the charge of polluting a local wetland.

The court heard that resin spilt into the stormwater system and flowed into a nearby wetland.

The prosecution was brought by the Office of Environment and Heritage after an investigation by its officers revealed that the spill had affected 1.7 hectares of the wetland.

Samples collected from the wetland were tested and were found to be toxic having concentrations of chemicals sufficient to rapidly kill any frogs, tadpoles, fish and other invertebrates present within the wetland.

The court was told that at the time of the offence there was no system, alarms or cut off switch that would prevent any overflow from the mixing tank entering the stormwater system

In handing down sentence Justice Rachel Pepper said there was no doubt that environmental harm was caused by the spill and that there were a number of practical measures that could have been taken to prevent it happening.

Chief Executive of the Office of Environment and Heritage, Lisa Corbyn, said today that this incident was preventable and should not have occurred.

“The onus rests on all businesses to ensure that all appropriate safety systems are in place to protect the environment.”

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