Fined for illegal waste activities
15 March 2018
A Mount Morgan land owner has been convicted and fined $45,000 on charges relating to the illegal storage and handling of regulated waste on his property.
John Kevin Campion pleaded guilty to the charges in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court on 12 March.
Campion was charged with carrying out an environmentally relevant activity without an environmental authority; being a generator who failed to give prescribed information to the Department of Environment and Science; wilfully failing to comply with a clean-up notice; providing false or misleading information; and wilfully and unlawfully causing material environmental harm.
Variously, these are contraventions of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 and the Environmental Protection Regulation 2008.
The Court heard that in December 2015 a warrant was executed on the defendant at his Mount Morgan property where more than 50 200-litre drums containing regulated waste were observed.
Results of sampling concluded that the drums contained hydrocarbons, organic solvents and phenols, all of which are prescribed regulated wastes.
In June 2016, Campion told the department that all regulated waste had been removed from his property, however subsequent departmental investigations showed this to be false.
He was then issued with a clean-up notice to remove all regulated waste from his property, which he failed to comply with.
The Court was told that in July 2016, information was received that a number of 200-litre drums had been dumped in a gully near Campion’s property.
The department then relied on staff observations, DNA analysis from a cigarette butt retrieved from the gully, and samples of the drums’ contents to show that Campion had illegally dumped the drums.
In addition to the fine, Campion was ordered to pay investigation costs of $8,138.04 and legal costs of $1,500.