Building sites faced sediment control blitz

construction workersThe EPA held a blitz on housing construction sites to prevent sediment runoff in October. Image: EPA NSW

Building sites on the Woy Woy Peninsula were targeted in a one-day blitz last month, to protect the waterways from run-off.

The blitz aims to build on a month-long campaign in May when more than 1110 building sites across 19 council areas in NSW were inspected by officers from the NSW Environment Protection Authority, the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and council officers.

A total of $290,700 in fines was issued for sites that failed to follow the rules on controlling erosion and sediment control on construction sites. Environmental Protection Authority regional director Ms Giselle Howard said construction sites were getting the message about sediment control.

“While we won’t hesitate to issue them for a breach, the real aim is to stop runoff.

“That means educating developers and builders about the role they can play to improve the health of our waterways by managing and preventing sediment-laden runoff, ” she said. “Many tradies and construction workers also like to fish in their time off, or to picnic with their families around our iconic waterways, so at work it is possible for them to make the connection to help keep our environment clean and healthy. ”

She said sediment spills could destroy aquatic habitats and smother native plants and animals that live in our waterways. They could polluting creek, rivers and harbours by filling them with dirt, soil, sand and mud, leading to poorer water quality, affecting swimming or leisure activities in and around our waterways.

They could block stormwater drains, leading to flooding and overflows, and erosion of creek and riverbanks. Pollution incidents, including poor sediment control, can be reported to the authority’s 24/7 Environment Line on 131 555.

SOURCE: EPA media release, October 2019

This article appeared first in the Peninsula News edition 481

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