Operating a quarry brings with it a host of responsibilities that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Increasing community expectations about environmental impacts are driving greater scrutiny of quarry operations. One aspect that has been of particular focus is ensuring quarry operations are being managed in compliance with the statutory approvals that formed the basis of their licence to operate.

The regulations governing quarry use allows the regulator to exercise considerable powers when it suspects or has evidence of a quarry operator in breach of its compliance obligations. These powers include stop work orders and prohibition notices and in some instances penalty notices. The subsequent result could be to stop operations from either proceeding or continuing.

Hefty fines for illegal quarry operations
The Land and Environment Court recently ordered a quarry operator and its Director, who oversee operations on the Mid North Coast, to pay almost $250,000 in fines.  The fines are for the illegal storage of materials removed from the quarry without a licence.

Quarrying activities involving the extraction, storage or processing of more than 30,000 tonnes of extractive materials per year required a licence from the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) in accordance with the legislation.

In this case, the operator and the Director pleaded guilty after storing more than 90,000 tonnes of extracted materials, which included rock and clay, at Corindi Quarry, which supplies materials used in road construction.

How environmental consultants can help you meet quarry obligations
Businesses and quarry operators tend to place a lot of emphasis on planning and environmental approvals when they think about their compliance obligations. But this is just the beginning.

It’s important quarry operators take a broader view and ensure they understand and meet their ongoing compliance obligations during the operational phase of the quarry too.

Just as important is the need to keep up to date with ever-changing regulations and obligations. During the lifespan of a quarry, operators can and should expect to see a multitude of changes to the way they operate in order to remain compliant.  Regulations are dynamic and the trend is toward ever increasing compliance obligations.

Being unaware or ignorant of the changes is not an excuse. That’s where an environmental consultant can help. At GeoLINK we make it our business to be on top of any updates to the regulations. We interpret what the changes mean from an operational perspective for quarry operators and can guide them through the necessary steps to meet them.

Consulting with an expert makes sense because it’s more important than ever for quarry operators to be fully aware of their compliance obligations and ensure their operations meet them.

Get in touch to find out more about how we can help.

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