Quarry company fined for EA offences
Issued: 9 Feb 2021
A quarry company has been fined $60,000 in the Toowoomba Magistrates Court yesterday after pleading guilty to two offences of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (EP Act).
The company holds a current environmental authority (EA) that authorises extractive and screening activities, including on one particular area of the site on the condition they provide an environmental offset.
Between August 2016 and April 2019, the company conducted extractive activities in the area without providing an environmental offset.
In January 2018, the company provided the Department of Environment and Science (DES) with an annual return falsely stating that it had complied with the conditions of its EA while knowing it had not provided an offset.
The company pleaded guilty to one charge of wilfully contravening a condition of an EA, in contravention of section 430(2) of the EP Act.
It also pleaded guilty to one charge of giving DES a document containing information it knew or should have known was false or misleading, in contravention of section 480(1) of the EP Act.
The company was also ordered to pay legal costs of $2,500 and investigation costs of $1,952.75. No conviction was recorded.
Queensland has strong environmental standards, and extractive companies have an obligation to comply with the law.
As the environmental regulator, DES takes compliance issues seriously. Where compliance issues are identified, the department will take strong enforcement action.