A man has been fined $63,000 for illegally dumping more than 3,600 tonnes of asbestos contaminated soil taken from the Shell refinery in Rosehill at a semi-rural property on Mangrove Mountain.
Mr Mathew Laison, sole trader of Laison Plant Hire and Haulage, pleaded guilty to the charge. He was successfully prosecuted by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and ordered to pay legal costs of $40,000. The EPA prosecuted under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act for causing waste to be transported to a place that could not lawfully be used as a waste facility. Director of Waste and Resource Recovery, NSW EPA, Mr Steve Beaman said: “The defendant showed no regard for the risk to human life in the transportation and dumping of the asbestos contaminated soil.” A business partner of Mr Laison had already been prosecuted by the EPA for his role in permitting the illegal dumping at Mangrove Mountain and for supplying fraudulent dockets to cover up its disposal. He was fi ned $24,000 for the illegal disposal of the waste and $12,000 for supply of the false information and ordered to pay the EPA legal costs. “The actions of both Mr Laison and his business partner not only had the potential to threaten the health of others, but the environment of Mangrove Mountain,” he said. Mr Beaman said the soil containing bonded asbestos was dumped on private property in Goolara Rd, Mangrove Mountain between March and April 2011. “The NSW EPA do not have any concerns about this material impacting on the Central Coast water catchment area,” he said. The soil was mixed with approximately 96,000 tonnes of other material and used it to build a dam. The Offi ce of Water has ordered the land owner to decommission the dam. “The EPA is working with the Offi ce of Water to ensure the landowner safely removes the dam structure. “The EPA has issued a clean up order and the landowner must abide by its conditions. “The EPA and Offi ce of Water has given the landowner a list of strict controls that must be put in place to ensure that any contaminated material is managed… and does not pose a risk of harm to the surrounding environment. “This is an important reminder that property owners need to be certain they do not accept illegal landfi ll. “Contaminated fi ll can harm human health and the environment. “It can permanently devalue your land, and you could end up facing hefty fi nes and clean-up costs.”
Media release, 15 June 2015 Steve Beaman, NSW EPA