Published on 9/25/2017
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Have the EPA and anti dumping authorities gone too far?
The penalty for washing out your concrete truck or dumping concrete off site is now higher than most crimes in NSW and Australia
Cover photo care of the Daily Hampshire Gazett at http://www.gazettenet.com
Have the Environmental Authorities (EPA) and Anti Dumping Authorities gone too far?
One could be forgiven for thinking that in dumping concrete you had committed a serious felony or contributed to the physical harm or assault of an individual. Indeed when we look at the punishment and fines meted out by our regulatory authorities, the lay person may have good reason to feel astounded. Let's face it mining companies, developers, infrastructure projects and corporations all over the world dump waste on sites everywhere and don't necessarily fall under the same level of scrutiny as the local concrete mixer driver. In many if not most instances the concrete truck driver is desperate to wash their barrel out before returning to the plant. For they are aware the cost of a new concrete drum (i.e.., mixer) is approximately $15,000 AUD and this may potentially lead to their loss of employment, or a serious bout of "dedagging" in the least. Therefore one can understand the frequent temptation to just rid the barrel of any excess concrete following a concrete pour. Particularly in summer.
The Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (POEO Act) provides a tiered range of on-the-spot fines and penalties for illegal dumping offences.
Lets look at the current fines for dumping concrete in the state of NSW Australia for some perspective
- $7500 on-the-spot fine for individuals, if issued by the EPA ($4000 otherwise)
- $15,000 on-the-spot fine for corporations, if issued by the EPA ($8000 otherwise)
- Maximum penalty for an individual: $250,000 and, in the case of a continuing offense, a further daily penalty of $60,000
- Maximum penalty for a corporation: $1,000,000 and in the case of a continuing offense, a further daily penalty of $120,000
- Maximum penalty for an individual: $1,000,000 and/or 7 year prison sentence for wilful offenses; $500,000 and/or 4 year prison sentence for negligent offenses
What about in perspective to other crimes
The fine for killing a dog
$22,000 for natural person
$110,000 for corporation
Crimes Act 1900, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979
* A prison sentence for 1 to 5 years depending on your State available under s.530 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) for serious animal cruelty committed with “intention of inflicting severe harm”.
The fine for common assault
Here is a list of the most common assault charges, and the maximum criminal fines you will have to pay if the matter is dealt with in the local court:
- Common assault – $2,200
- Assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH) – $5,500
- Assault/resist police – $2,200
- Recklessly cause grievous bodily harm/reckless wounding – you should get a criminal lawyer to represent you as this charge is serious.
What are the alternatives to dumping?
Photo Source courtesy of : http://recycleconcrete.ca
Costs of Recycling
A quick review of the web in Australia and we can see the costs of disposing of concrete at the Red Hill Waste Management Facility in Perth
Class V Waste - Concrete encapsulated drums (L 900mm D 600mm)
*Not accepting at this time. The cell is currently closed, the situation will be reviewed at the end of summer 2017.
Class V Waste - Concrete encapsulated bulka bags (1.1m x 1.1m x 1.1m)
*Not accepting at this time. The cell is currently closed, the situation will be reviewed at the end of summer 2017. .
Its all seeming a bit expensive and difficult isn't it. What about recyclers? That is if they are open and you can find one near you.
Prices can range from $26 per tonne at competitive recyclers through to $50 per tonne at more expensive recycle depots
What about the cost of the local tip fees
$30 per tonne for small separated concrete to $300 per tonne for large bulk concrete waste
It's interesting isn't it. The environment must be protected as dumped concrete can cause significant environmental damage. Though the fact is many builders and construction sites do not provide concrete plants and mixer drivers with adequate wash out areas on site. That's the reality. And washing out in a wheel barrow sometimes just doesn't cut it. And what about situations where you have no wash in water left on those hot dry summer days? With summer coming it's all food for thought.
Perhaps the EPA and Governments everywhere should look more closely at the need for development applications to cater adequately for wash out bays, rather than policing the concrete industry, who in some instances has little or no alternative than to consider "washing out" off site.
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Tags: concrete mixer concrete recycling concrete waste dumping concrete EPA illegal dumping penalties tip fees wash out bays
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