EPA GED Chemical or Drum Disposal
- Image source Herald Sun
A recent EPA prosecution for illegal dumping demonstrates risks in chemical or drum disposal, under the EPA GED (General Environmental Duty) legislation, even for the well-intentioned.
Under the EPA GED, if your business creates waste you must take reasonable steps to ensure your waste goes to a lawful place. This means you need to:
- identify and classify the waste
- give anyone who transports your waste enough information to take it to a lawful place
- verify that the receiving site is a lawful place.
In this case (which relates to an incident from late-2019), EPA prosecuted the person responsible for dumping the drums, who “had collected the drums from a cleaning company… charging the company $435 and promising to take the drums to an approved chemical waste facility“. The offender advertised in an online market place.
However, had the incident occurred since July 2021, the cleaning company may also have breeched their General Environmental Duty (in relation to the three dot points above), and may also be liable for severe penalties.
Under the EPA GED, your business is responsible for ensuring waste is lawfully disposed. This responsibility cannot be outsourced. However, it can be managed with due diligence and support from GEDedge.
Waste classification is the key first step, involving finding the relevant waste codes, and determining if it’s industrial waste, priority waste, or reportable priority waste. The classification will determine which waste duties apply, including for transport, tracking and the lawful place for disposal.
GEDedge is able to help.