Claims of illegal toxic storage
LOCK the Gate Alliance Northern Rivers claims Metagasco is illegally operating two toxic waste-storage ponds near Casino.
Lock the Gate Alliance Northern Rivers spokeswoman Boudicca Cerese said Metagasco had been operating the ponds without council consent since 2010.
The activist group recently asked Richmond Valley Council to immediately issue Metagasco with a stop-work order at the site.
"We sought legal advice and our lawyers suggested council was in a position to issue them with a stop-work order, given their breaches," Ms Cerese said.
She said Metagasco could not adhere to the "very minimal" development consent requirements issued by Richmond Valley Council in 2007.
"If Metagasco cannot comply with straight-forward planning legislation, how can the public trust them to comply with any other regulations designed to safeguard communities and the environment from harm from their potentially hazardous operations," Ms Cerese said.
Richmond Valley Council director of environmental development services Ken Exley confirmed consent for the ponds had lapsed, but Metgasco had since lodged a development application for a larger pond at the same site.
He said the council had asked Metgasco why action should not be taken against it.
The new application would come before the ordinary council meeting tomorrow.
The Northern Star asked Metgasco to respond but it did not.