Broadwater Mill fined for spill in Richmond River
A PENALTY notice has been issued to Broadwater's sugar mill processor for discharge in the Richmond River.
Due to an uncontrolled discharge of approximately 1,000 litres of caustic solution into the Richmond River on September 8, the NSW Sugar Milling Co-operative has been issued a $15k penalty by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA).
EPA Manager North Coast Region Brett Nudd said the company's systems had failed to prevent an uncontrolled discharge occurring during an evaporator cleaning operation at the company's Broadwater Sugar Mill.
Immediately following the incident the NSW Sugar Milling Co-Operative submitted an incident report confirming that a number of critical monitoring and control systems had either not been in place or were incorrectly implemented.
"While the discharge to Richmond River had no immediately identifiable environmental impacts, this is a disappointing result as the EPA had issued an official caution to the company for a similar incident that occurred in November 2014 at its Harwood premises." Mr Nudd said.
"Despite the company's commitment to improved system management and operator training following the first incident, it failed to ensure appropriate controls were implemented across its three premises resulting in the most recent incident."
This reoccurrence prompted the EPA to issue the penalty notice to NSW Sugar Milling Co-Operative for failure to comply with a condition of its Environment Protection Licence which requires 'all plant and equipment at the premises to be maintained and operated in a proper and efficient condition and manner.'
Committed to a review
NSW Sugar Milling advises it has committed to a review of its maintenance and control procedures and improved staff training to ensure that there are no further recurrences in the future.
The EPA will be closely monitoring the company's performance to assess the effectiveness of these revised procedures.