NSW EPA doubles up in court on waste transporter cases
Environment Protection Authority chalks up two successful waste-transporter prosecutions in a week, including a jail term for a serial asbestos dumper
“Illegal dumping ... is a serious environmental crime.”
THE NEW SOUTH WALES ENVIRONMENT
PROTECTION AUTHORITY (EPA) chalked up two successful waste transporter prosecutions in a week, including a jail term for a serial dumper of asbestos.
Dib Hanna was jailed for three years after pleading guilty to one charge of illegal transport of waste and four counts of illegal dumping of waste in the NSW Land and Environment Court.
The NSW EPA says Hanna had advertised free- clean top soil, clay, crushed bitumen and shale, and the use of an excavation machine to various Sydney residents via a letterbox drop.
“Upon being contacted by innocent residents interested in receiving the free material, between October 2015 and January 2016, he instructed truck drivers to transport and deposit 461 square metres or 461,000kg of waste, including asbestos waste, at residential properties in East Kurrajong, Llandilo and Wallacia.”
The authority adds that it had worked with police to have Hanna extradited from Victoria to NSW after he failed to appear in court to answer the charges.
“This is the first time a person has been extradited in relation to environmental offences,” it adds.
Speaking about the case, NSW environment minister Gabrielle Upton says it was an appropriate sentence for a man who had taken advantage of innocent people, “for his own financial benefit”.
“Illegal dumping, especially of asbestos waste, is a serious environmental crime and NSW has tough laws to prevent it,” she says.
“Any behaviour that flagrantly puts the health of the community and the environment at risk will not be tolerated.”
Hanna will not be eligible for parole until he serves two years and three months of his sentence.
The EPA had another win six days after Hanna was sent to jail, with Mathew Laison fined $85,000, including costs for providing false information about waste disposal.
Laison, formerly sole operator of Laison Earthmoving & Plant Hire, provided two fake weighbridge dockets to a second waste transporter.
In welcoming the court’s decision, EPA waste compliance director Greg Sheehy insists that “being evasive about waste will not get you off the hook”.
“Providing false records about the disposal of waste significantly undermines the NSW environmental regulatory system,” Sheehy says.
“It is a crime and this penalty provides a warning to others that they will not get away with breaking the law.”