Premises in the Dunheved Industrial Estate are being targeted by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and Penrith City Council as part of a joint compliance blitz over pollution in the Hawkesbury River.
Officers will be targeting stormwater management and chemical storage. The compliance operation follows an increase in water pollution in St Mary’s stormwater canals and South Creek, which is an important waterway connected to the Hawkesbury River.
EPA Executive Director Regulatory Operations Stephen Beaman said operators found to be in breach of their licence or engaging in non-compliant activities may face regulatory actions.
“Water pollution is an issue in South Creek and nearby storm water canals that we want to address. While we have not been unable to identify the source of pollution, we are taking action today to make sure operators are doing the right thing,” he said. “If stormwater controls are not managed properly or chemicals aren’t stored correctly it can cause harm to human health and the environment and be costly to clean-up.”
Council welcomed the EPA’s invitation to join forces and focus on the Dunheved Industrial Estate with Penrith Mayor Tricia Hitchen saying everybody has a role to play in protecting the environment.
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“Dunheved Industrial Estate is considered a significantly large industrial estate which caters for many different industries carrying out a broad range of activities. Better management of these industries is crucial, as it reduces the potential for harm to our local and extended environment,” Hitchen said. “The older estates and the businesses within them have a greater potential for their activities to impact on our environment through ineffective or non-existent stormwater quality treatment and associated pollution control measures.
“These businesses operating in our community have a responsibility as good corporate citizens to do the right thing and ensure they aren’t polluting our local waterways. The collaboration between NSW EPA and Penrith City Council enables both organisations to provide assistance to these businesses for improving their environmental performance and achieving meaningful improvements to our local environment. Council would like to acknowledge that the majority of businesses are doing the right thing, and we hope to complete similar campaigns in the future to ensure we protect critical environments.”
The inspections are not only about enforcement but provide industry with information and education about their responsibilities.
More to come.