Pollution Definition: Means the introduction by persons, directly or indirectly, of substances or things into the environment which may result in harm to the environment, and hazardous to human health.
What is Pollutant? includes any of the following that may result in environmental harm:
- A gas. Liquid or solid
- An odour (Smell)
- An organism (whether alive or dead), including a virus
- Energy, including noise, radioactivity and electromagnetic radiation
- Hazardous substance
- A combination of pollutants
e.g. Disposal of waste into rivers or water causes pollution. It affects the water ecosystem. Surrounding communities don’t have access to clean safe water for drinking, swimming and recreation
DEPC Pollution Control Objectives
- minimise and manage the discharge of air and land waste pollutants, the emission of noise, odour and electromagnetic radiation into the environment
- minimize the adverse effects of pollution on human health and the environment
- encourage all levels of government to work together to control the discharge and emission of pollution
How are the objectives met?
- require owners and occupiers of property to prevent or minimise the discharge or emission of pollution
- establish a PERMIT REGIME for owners and occupiers of property who wish to cause or increase the discharge or emission of pollution
- issue POLLUTION ABATEMENT NOTICES when pollution is or is likely to be discharged or emitted without a permit
- create OFFENCES for the discharge and emission of pollution that unreasonably interferes with the health and/or environment of others
Pollution Abatement Notice
- can be served on the owner or occupier of any premises if it appears to the Director that pollution discharged or emitted into the environment does not comply with a prescribed standard or is likely to cause pollution
- require the persons identified in the notice to take any measures to prevent, control or reduce the discharge or emission of pollution
- the Director may vary or revoke a notice in writing in order to extend the time to comply with any requirement in the notice or vary any requirement in the notice
Order for Closure
- If a Pollution Abatement Notice is not complied with, the Director may order the closure of the premises.
- Before issuing an Order for Closure, the Director must be satisfied that:
- requirements contained in the pollution abatement notice were not complied with; and
- non-compliance is causing or likely to cause conditions detrimental to the environment, human life or health.
- The Director is to ensure that the owner or occupier takes steps or measures necessary to:
- cease the carrying on of the trade or activity, and close down the premises; and
- prevent or minimise effects of the breach of the notice on the environment and human health.
When Can an Order for Closure be issued?
- An Order for Closure will generally be issued in cases where the activity occurs in COMMERCIAL or INDUSTRIAL premises.
- The Order for Closure remains until the situation is improved to the satisfaction of the Director.
- A person who continues to operate an activity in premises despite being served with an Order for Closure is guilty of an offence.
- An Order for Closure will not usually be appropriate for residential premises.
- The failure of an owner or occupier of a property to comply with the terms of a:
- Pollution Abatement Notice
- Order for Closure
- Driving a vehicle, sailing or conducting a vessel, or operating or flying an aircraft capable of discharging any pollution into the environment unless prescribed standards are met
- Emitting from any property, any noise, odour, pollutant or electromagnetic radiation which unreasonably interferes with the health, welfare or amenity of another person, or may adversely affect the environment
'Enforcement officers' and officers authorized by the Director shall have power to:
- Issue penalty notices for committing offences under the Act
- enter private premises after notifying the owner of their intention to do so
- take samples for testing and analysis
- require the production of records and information relevant to the management, storage, movement and disposal of pollutants
- order that certain pollutants be contained or otherwise dealt with so as to minimize their adverse effects on human health or the environment
- remove, disperse, destroy, dispose of or otherwise deal with the pollutant.