Council appeal $8000 fine over alleged Evans River pollution

UPDATE: RICHMOND Valley Council will appeal an $8000 fine for allegedly polluting the Evans River with 12.7 kilo litres of untreated sewage.

General Manager John Walker said council would appeal the fine, regarding an allegedly unreported issue with the treatment plant on March 2.

The amount of alleged discharged untreated effluent equals 2117 full flushes of a standard six-litre toilet, or 4234, three -litre half flushes.

Report in today's Northern Star.

INITIAL REPORT: RICHMOND Valley Council has been fined $8000 by the EPA for polluting the Evans River with untreated sewage.

EPA Manager North Coast Region Brett Nudd said because the Council took 31 hours to notify the EPA of the incident it was in breach of Section 148 of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997.

The law requires immediate notification of pollution incidents which cause or threaten material harm to the environment.

The overflow was discovered at 7.45am on Monday 2 March, but Council officers didn't inform the EPA until after 3pm the following day.

"Council estimated that 12.7 kilolitres of untreated sewage was discharged to the Evans River, and at the time they did not take any samples of the river. It was only after the EPA was notified that any water quality sampling was undertaken," Mr Nudd said.

A Richmond Valley council spokeswoman is preparing a response.



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