EPA slaps $15K fine on poultry processing facility

By Melissa Coade

Sunday December 19, 2021

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NSW EPA has issued its biggest fine to date. (koszivu/Adobe)

A poultry processing facility has received the highest penalty the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) can issue over allegations the Beresfield company discharged high-strength effluent into Woodberry Swamp. 

Bartter Enterprises Pty Limited copped the hefty fine for allegedly dumping the wastewater into the swamp, which is a low-lying floodplain and wetland area near Maitland.  

The swamp is a recognised wetland under the Coastal Management State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) 2018.

David Gathercole, the EPA’s metro operations director, said companies like Bartter were only allowed to release a controlled amount of wastewater under strict conditions.

“Testing indicated that effluent treatment at the premises was inadequate, resulting in a high concentration of chemical compounds being discharged into the swamp. This included elevated levels of nitrogen and phosphorus,” Gathercole said.

In addition to the fine, the EPA has put the poultry processing company on notice to take action to prevent further water pollution.

Gathercole went on to explain that the delicate aquatic life of the Woodberry swamp could be affected by the high-strength effluent, leading to rapid growth of weeds and algae. 

“By issuing this penalty notice and enforcing a number of immediate, medium and long-term actions – including modifying the on-site wastewater treatment plant – the EPA is emphasising the importance of Bartter’s responsibility to comply with the law, and protect the local sensitive environment,” Gathercole added.


READ MORE:

EPA issues ‘blackwater’ alert to Northern NSW

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