Tougher fines for asbestos dumpers

Date: Sep 15, 2014

Asbestos dumping is becoming a greater problem across NSW with incidents occurring regularly. However, it is hoped this will decrease with the implementation of significant new fines.

The increase of the on-the-spot penalties comes into effect this month and as well as asbestos dumping includes water pollution, hazardous waste disposal and operating without a licence.

For corporations illegally dumping asbestos, the on-the-spot fine will increase from $1,500 to $15,000. While for individuals, this amount will rise from $750 to $7,500. It is important to note that people who break environmental laws in NSW face up to seven years in prison and a $5 million fine as well.

CEO and Chair of the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Barry Buffier indicated that the community felt the current penalties weren’t strong enough to prevent both companies and individuals from putting public safety at risk.

Asbestos remains a hot topic around the state with a number of residential homes and buildings affected. Although the material is not deemed dangerous if left settled, any disruption can cause major health problems.

According to authorities, the majority of dumping cases occur if asbestos work has been carried out without specialist teams and the material is not sanctioned for removal.

Environment Minister Rob Stokes explained the higher fines should prompt both businesses and individuals to review how they deal with environmental matters.

“These changes better reflect the community’s expectations and shift the power back in favour of the independent regulator rather than the polluter,” he said.

“For too long the EPA has been operating under conditions that make it difficult to effectively regulate operators who continually do the wrong thing with penalties that are simply not significant enough to change poor behaviour.”

Information on how the fine structure will work and where asbestos can be legally disposed of can be found on the EPA website.

Asbestos compensation claims in NSW

Under New South Wales law, you are entitled to claim compensation on many dust-related conditions including asbestos and Mesothelioma. The claim can be made irrelevant of the time of exposure, be it yesterday or even 30 years ago.

For more information, get in touch with the compensation lawyers at Gerard Malouf Partners today.

These lawyers operate on a no win no fee basis so they can advise you on your chances for success free of charge – if they think you have a case, it’s completely up to you whether you engage their services.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.