Benalla mill D&R Henderson has copped a fine for failing to comply with Environmental Protection Agency regulations.
The EPA fined the company more than $8000 over unauthorised works at its particle board manufacturing facility.
EPA's north-east region manager Renee Palmer said the offence involved modifications to timber chipping equipment.
“A report from the public and observations by EPA officers confirmed the company had modified the drying equipment for chipped timber without obtaining a Works Approval from EPA,” Ms Palmer said.
“This is not just about paperwork; the Works Approval process is there to make sure the works don’t put the plant over its licence limit for emissions to the environment.
“It also gives EPA the power to apply legally enforceable conditions to the project design to protect the environment and the community.”
Monsbent Pty Ltd, trading as D&R Henderson, on Yarrawonga-Benalla Rd, Benalla, chips timber for manufacturing into chipboard.
The fine for conducting works without a Works Approval, an offence under Section 19A (1) of the Environment Protection Act 1970, will cost the company $8060.
“The modification to the drying system has the potential for emission of dust and odour, affecting people’s health, wellbeing and amenity, including visibility on the adjacent road,” Ms Palmer said.
“The company has recently put a different project through the Works Approval process, an indication that it is well aware of the requirements."
Under the Environment Protection Act 1970 and the Infringements Act 2006, the company has the right to have the decision to issue the infringement notice reviewed or alternatively to have the matter heard and determined by a court.
Victoria’s new environment laws take effect on July 1 and introduce a general environmental duty requiring businesses and individuals to prevent harm to the environment and human health. Learn more on EPA’s website at www.epa.vic.gov.au/about-epa/laws/new-laws
Members of the public can report pollution by calling EPA’s 24 hour hotline on 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842).
D&R Henderson has been approached for comment.