|Australian builder penalised for water pollution|
|Thursday, 10 May 2012 14:39|
Ed Kelly Constructions Pty Ltd pleaded guilty to a water pollution charge in Batemans Bay Local Court, Australia on Friday and was convicted and ordered to pay more than $24,000 in fines and costs.The New South Wales Environment Protection Authority (EPA) prosecuted Ed Kelly Constructions Pty Ltd for polluting the waters of Forsters Bay near Narooma, which forms part of the Wagonga Inlet and is located within Batemans Marine Park.
The incident occurred on December 2 and 3, 2010, when sediment and erosion controls put in place by the construction company failed during a period of heavy rainfall.
In handing down his judgment, Magistrate Degnan said the company must be alive to the sensitivity of the marine environment at Forsters Bay.
Magistrate Degnan said the construction company should have taken greater precautions to ensure its sediment and erosion controls would be able to withstand periods of heavy rainfall.
Acting Chief Environmental Regulator Mark Gifford said sediment laden water posed a potential threat to any marine ecosystem, but was particularly concerning when it entered a declared Sanctuary Zone.
“Sediment may seem harmless, but it is a serious marine pollutant and Forsters Bay contains high conservation value species and ecosystems,” Mr Gifford said.
“Sediment plume pollution can reduce light penetration, smother the marine bed habitat, harm the gills of fish, crustaceans and molluscs, and reduce the food supply for some marine life.
“Parts of Forsters Bay are also used for oyster farming and sediment laden water can harm this industry significantly.
“Heavy rainfall made erosion and sediment control difficult for Ed Kelly Constructions Pty Ltd, but they had already received a formal EPA caution for an incident of water pollution that occurred on the same site on September 10, 2010.
“Sediment is a harmful pollutant in waterways and construction companies must follow best practice and budget adequately to avoid allowing sediment to enter the marine environment,” Mr Gifford said
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