EPA warns batching and precast plants

The Environment Protection Authority has revealed it recently executed snap inspections at several concrete batching facilities in Victoria and warned it would continue to carry out more.

Nine businesses south-west of Melbourne were visited by EPA officers who found outdated practices affecting the environment including local wildlife and human health.

EPA officers visited SMEs in North Geelong, Moolap, Grovedale, Newtown and North Shore with a particular focus on how they managed chemical spills and waste and what protections there were to stop spills entering stormwater drains.

“Some businesses were in real need of updating their practices; hay bales are not considered sufficient protection for stopping sediment enter [sic] stormwater drains anymore.” the EPA said in a statement.

“Our inspections found there was room for improvement, so our officers provided a lot of compliance advice. Without proper risk management, concrete batching plants can significantly impact the local environment. “Concrete production uses a range of chemicals and materials that if released into the local environment via waterways or dust – can have negative impacts on local wildlife and human health.”

The EPA warned it would continue with snap inspections and advised concrete businesses to meet their environmental operating requirements.

“We’ll continue with actions like this throughout the region, and our message to businesses is clear – protecting the environment is everyone’s business and you should not be waiting for a visit from EPA to tell you what you need to do to meet your regulatory obligations.” 

EPA Guideline 1806: Reducing risk in the premixed concrete industry details how operators of concrete batching plants and precast concrete manufacturing facilities can assess, manage and control their risks to achieve practical performance outcomes, while allowing flexibility as to how this will be achieved and is free to download.

About the author

Desi Corbett

Desi is our weekly news journalist and the editor of Concrete in Australia magazine for 10 years. She has been heavily involved in all forms of engineering since 2013; part of a 30-year writing career across a range of subjects and media.