A petrol station operator in Keele St, Collingwood who ignored advice from the Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has been fined by Heidelberg Magistrates Court.
The company operating the service station, Filomena Pty Ltd and its director, Mr. Dimitrios Andrianopoulos, failed to meet the requirements of EPA pollution reduction notices issued due to fears that gasoline and diesel flow from underground reservoirs contaminating soil and groundwater.
Mr. Andrianopoulos was notified on August 1, 2019 of the first formal notice requiring him to monitor leaks from underground oil storage systems and then provide a monitoring report. Despite ample notice, Mr. Andrianopoulos missed the seven-week compliance deadline.
A second notice issued on February 7, 2020 to conduct and provide a detailed site investigation report, was also ignored and the deadline was exceeded by 617 days.
The court ordered a $2,500 fine and ordered Mr. Andrianopoulos to pay the EPA’s $2,000 court costs.
“Mr. Andrianopoulos could have saved $4,500 in expenses by complying with reasonable timely notice requirements,” said EPA Jeremy Settle, EPA Northern Metropolitan Regional Director.
“Mr Andrianopoulos had an obligation to ensure that he took reasonable steps to prevent the leakage of hydrocarbons, i.e. fuel, from his business from contaminating the land and causing a foul odor for neighboring properties.
“Under the General Environmental Duties (GED) section of the new Environmental Protection Act 2017, which came into force in July 2021, everyone has a responsibility to act to prevent pollution. If Filomena and Mr. Andrianopoulos had been tried under these new powers, his fine could have been much higher.