When a farmer on the central coast found out he was the victim in an illegal dumping operation – one in which the perpetrator (Mr Ashmore) was identified, pleaded guilty and fined – he never thought he was going to be the person solely responsible for the clean up.
In a case where common sense has taken the back seat to process, the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) instructed the farmer, Mr Zizza, to clean up the illegal dumped asbestos-contaminated site at his own cost.
The EPA has found that “it is physically impossible to separate out the waste that arrived from the Shell Clyde Refinery because that material, approximately 3000 to 4000 tonnes” is mixed with other material. “This means it is not legally possible to direct Mr Ashmore or anyone else to remove that material.”
With the EPA issuing this finding, it absolves the man who illegally dumped the material of his remediation responsibilities, while also the company who was responsible for the safe disposal of the asbestos, leaving the innocent farmer sitting with the cleanup notice himself.
Showing little in the way of corporate responsibility, the cleanup company, CLM Infrastructure, has not stepped up to help with any remediation.
The EPA could only suggest to Mr Zizza that he could speak with CLM Infrastructure regarding the asbestos cleanup.