The Environment Protection Authority (SA EPA) has fined eight truck drivers in its latest compliance exercise for failing to properly cover waste loads.
A joint operation with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) was set up to educate waste transporters about the need to restrain all loads to protect the community and the environment. The inspections were carried out at the Integrated Waste Services (IWS) Dublin and Wingfield depots in South Australia.
EPA officers worked with the NHVR’s Safety and Compliance officers, who perform heavy vehicle onroad compliance and enforcement activities under the Heavy Vehicle National Law. EPA Investigations Manager Stephen Barry said expiations of $192 had been sent to eight operators out of the 10 that were checked by EPA officers.
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“The EPA licenses waste transporters and while it does not specify the types of covers required, transporters must comply with the Environment Protection Act 1993 and take all practicable steps to cover loads,” he said. “Waste escaping from trucks can cause can create a hazard for other drivers and a litter problem on public roads, and it can also end up in stormwater or waterways.”
Reasons given by the drivers spoken by the EPA included not being supplied with a cover by the owner of the vehicle, or not having enough time to apply and remove a cover during loading and unloading. NHVR Director of Southern Region Operations Paul Simionato said it was important owner-operators understood their safety and regulatory obligations when transporting waste.
“Companies have a legal duty to ensure every load is secured adequately and they provide appropriate scheduling for drivers in order to maintain safety on our roads,” he said.
The two depots were chosen following complaints to the EPA by members of the public and industry operators about transporters discarding waste on public roads. Further operations will be conducted across South Australia.