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Pollution events – your responsibility
Pollution events may cause, or have the potential to cause, environmental harm in the form of environmental nuisance such as noise, odour and/or visual impacts.
Therefore, in accordance with Section 25 of the EP Act, licensees must ensure they are exercising their general environmental duty by taking all reasonable and practicable measures to prevent or minimise any resulting environmental harm.
Pollution incidents must be reported to the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) if they fall under the definition of environmental harm:
Environmental harm can be either material or serious as defined in Section 5 of the EP Act (13.2 KB PDF).
These definitions take into account the actual or potential value associated with the resulting loss or property damage.
It is important to note that the calculation of this value must incorporate reasonable costs and expenses incurred in order to prevent or mitigate the environmental harm and to rectify or rehabilitate any resulting environmental damage.
This is considered by the EPA to include the actual or potential cost of any rehabilitation or rectification work including operational and maintenance work required to terminate the gas release and prevent its recurrence.
In accordance with Section 83 of the EP Act, in the event of an incident that has caused or threatened material or serious environmental harm a licensee must, as soon as reasonably practicable after becoming aware of the harm or threatened harm and in any event within 24 hours, notify the EPA of the incident.
Failure to notify the EPA of such an occurrence is an offence and penalties apply.
Environmental incident notifications must be made using the Licensee EPA hotline: 1800 100 833.
The initial notification must include the following details:
- location of the incident
- time and date of the incident
- nature of the incident
- name of the licensee
- name and telephone number of an appropriate contact person.
An officer of the EPA will return your call to gather further information and where necessary, arrange attendance at the incident.
Following the initial notification, the EPA may also require a written report detailing:
- the circumstances leading to the incident
- actions undertaken to remedy the situation in the short term
- longer term actions that will be taken to prevent a recurrence of the incident.
When requested, this report should be submitted to the EPA within five working days of the incident occurring using the general fax number: (08) 8124 4674. Reports should be made to the attention of the Manager, Emergency Response Team.
Last modified: 19/06/2013 08:47 am