Council has obligations under various provisions of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 and the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997.
The Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 empowers Council to issue environment protection notices. Clean-up notices may direct an occupier of premises at or from which Council reasonably suspects that a pollution Incident has occurred, or a person reasonably suspected of causing or having caused pollution, to take clean-up action specified in the notice. This would include the unsatisfactory storage and or disposal of asbestos.
Prevention notices can be issued if the appropriate regulatory authority reasonably suspects that any activity has been or is being carried out in an environmentally unsatisfactory manner at any premises or by any person. Prevention notices require that action specified in the notice be taken, fees are payable to Council, for the issuing of clean-up and prevention notices. There is a right of appeal to the Land and Environment Court.
Council may also issue a notice directing the owner of a property to remove any damaged and broken asbestos for example, a damaged asbestos fence.
Council is also the authorising authority for any demolition or construction work which requires a Development Approval. Where these structures contain asbestos material council may place general conditions on any Development Application advising the applicant of provisions contained in relevant Australian Standards, Occupational Health and Safety Regulations and Guidelines produced by NSW Workcover in relation to handling or working with asbestos.
Council may also be contacted where asbestos containing material has been dumped or otherwise abandoned in a public place. In such circumstances where the persons responsible cannot be identified, council in conjunction with the NSW Fire and Rescue may arrange for the material to be collected once it has been rendered safe to handle and disposed of at Council’s waste disposal facility.
Generally where waste material containing asbestos is dumped or otherwise contained on private property, the material remains the responsibility of the property owner. Where a complaint is made to council in respect to waste asbestos material on private property, council regulatory officers may investigate the complaint and where considered necessary, the property owner may be required to remove and safely dispose of the waste material.
For all such enquiries and complaints contact Council’s Environmental Health Unit on 02 6670 2400