Beverley (Old Red Brick Company)
Old Red Brick Company is located at 167–169 & 171 William Street, Beverley. It is licensed by the EPA under the Environment Protection Act 1993 (EP Act) to operate as a waste recovery facility to receive and temporarily stockpile inert construction and demolition (C&D) waste before it is removed for further resource recovery.
The types of waste allowed to be received include recycled timber floorboards, stone and metal scrap, and bricks from demolished buildings. The current approval for the licensed activity includes cleaning lime and mortar from the bricks for resale. The company is also licensed to transport, receive and temporarily store asbestos before transport to an EPA-licensed facility for disposal.
The licence is due for renewal on 31 January 2022.
The adjacent parcel of land – Lot 2021 McLean St, Beverley – is not licensed by the EPA.
Belington has a general environmental duty under section 25 of the EP Act to take all reasonable and practicable measures to prevent or minimise dust from its operations. This does not mean there can be no dust from its operations, however. As with all operators, it must have dust management measures in place so dust does not leave the site and cause environmental harm.
Section 25 states:
A person must not undertake an activity that pollutes, or might pollute, the environment unless the person takes all reasonable and practicable measures to prevent or minimise any resulting environmental harm.
This means that the company must do what is reasonable and practicable to prevent or minimise any harm to the environment (or human health).
Failure to comply with the general environmental duty does not in itself constitute an offence, but compliance with the duty may be enforced through issuing an appropriate order or varying conditions of an environmental authorisation.
The key condition in Belington’s licence relating to the control of dust emissions is:
1.1 Dust prevention (S–7)
The licensee must take all responsible and practicable measures to prevent dust from leaving the premises.
A person who contravenes a mandatory provision of an environment protection policy is guilty of an offence. Penalties range from $250,000 to $100. Expiation fees range from $300 to $50.
In addition, activity causing dust may constitute environmental nuisance (an adverse amenity impact on an area) and is an offence under section 82 of the EP Act.
A person who causes an environmental nuisance by polluting the environment is guilty of an offence. The maximum penalty is $15,000 and expiation fee $300.
Update on activity on an unlicensed parcel of land
On 22 September 2021, a formal environment protection order (EPO) was issued, instructing Belington to cease receipt, processing and storage of C&D waste material on the unlicensed Lot 2021 McLean Street, Beverley. The EPO included a compliance date of 30 November 2021 as the company had indicated it intended to remove the stockpiled material by this date.
The EPA has been monitoring the company's activity on Lot 2021 McLean Street in response to community complaints about dust and the stockpiling of material.
Belington has exercised its right of appeal in the Environment, Resources and Development Court, including the compliance date of 30 November 2021.
The EPA has required Belington to provide:
- a stockpile management plan
- a dust management plan
- classification of the stockpiled material; and
- a community engagement plan.
A new compliance date of 31 January 2022 has been negotiated, and the EPA and Belington have been working on management plans to minimise dust moving offsite and to ensure the safe removal of the stockpiled material in a way that will not cause further impact to the community.
On 22 December 2021, the EPA and Belington attended a conference in the Environment, Resources and Development Court where the company provided further information to support management of the material stockpiled on the unlicensed site.
Update on stockpiled waste and asbestos
On 13 December 2021 the EPA sent an independent environmental consultant to inspect and sample the stockpiled material on Lot 2021 McLean St as well as 167–169 and 171 William Street.
Analysis at an accredited laboratory determined that 11 of the samples contained non-friable or bonded asbestos. All were chrysotile fibres, commonly known as white asbestos.
The EPA directed the company on 14 December 2021 to apply a dust suppressant and sealant to the stockpiles by the end of the day.
The EPA engaged an environmental consultant to provide independent air monitoring and the results concluded that no airborne asbestos fibres were detectable during the monitoring period.
On 22 December 2021, the EPA issued another formal EPO (40137) for the licensed site and directed Belington to cease moving the stockpiled waste and to apply and maintain an appropriate sealing agent to the stockpiled waste to minimise dust nuisance. The licensed site may continue to receive and clean bricks in a designated area.
On 23 December 2021 an additional Environment Protection Order (EPO 40136) was issued for the unlicensed site, directing Belington to apply and maintain an appropriate sealing agent to the stockpiled waste. This order requires three actions:
- Cease receiving waste (including C&D waste) other than bricks which can only be deposited at a location on the site agreed by the EPA
- Ensure the stockpiled waste containing asbestos materials is sealed
- Engage a consultant to develop a plan to address the management and/removal of the asbestos contaminated waste
Belington has appealed the Orders and the matter will be heard before the Environment, Resources and Development Court.
In accordance with EPA requirements, further sampling of the stockpiles for testing purposes will be undertaken by an independent consultant. During this time there will only be minor disturbances of the stockpiled material in a specific and limited number of locations to collect samples. At this time dust management measures will be applied and air monitoring conducted. Once completed, an appropriate sealing agent will be reapplied and maintained on all stockpiles until a plan is formalised to safely manage the material and remove from the site.
An inspection was conducted by EPA Officers on 24 December 2021 which determined that the stockpiles were sealed and intact.
Asbestos fibre air sampling and analysis report