The owners of Stawell’s tyre yard have been reprimanded after the Environment Protection Agency found Used Tyre Recycling Corporation had failed to reduce the risk of fire at the site.
The company was required to reduce the number of tyres at the site and separate them into smaller piles.
But a notice of contravention was issued to the tyre yard owners last month after EPA and CFA officers and Northern Grampians Shire Council visited the site on April 4 and found EPA’s demands had not been met.
EPA chief executive Nial Finegan said the notice was issued in addition to a “major” ongoing contravention and further enforcement action planned.
“The issue of a notice of contravention indicates that EPA considers any further breach a serious offence,” he said.
If prosecuted and convicted, a court could apply a daily penalty of up to $186,552 for each day the contravention of the EPA notice continued.
“Used Tyre Recycling Corporation has made some progress towards reducing the fire risk at the site by the notice’s 31 March 2017 deadline,” Mr Finegan said.
“But EPA believes more action is needed to reduce fire risk to the Stawell community.”
Stawell Tyre Yard general manager Joel Knibbs confirmed the site was on contravention, but said works to reduce the rubber stockpile would speed up once a permit for a recycling plant was approved.
“Our priority focus is reducing the tyre yard for the long term,” he said.
”A pyrolysis plant will get this process off the ground, but we need the works approval team to approve our permit.”
Mr Knibbs said the company had lodged an application for the permit in January, which is under review by EPA.
“This plant will help us to remove the pile for the long term rather than keeping up with short term government measures,” he said.
The company is required to separate the tyres into 12 equal-sized piles, all within a five metre distance of one another.
Mr Knibbs said the process was taking longer than expected, but assured it remained a prime focus.
“The stockpile is as deep as it is high,” he said.
“At the bottom there is water, mud and grit , so it will be a lengthy process, but we hope to get works underway quicker once the recycling plant is set up.”
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