Stock feed company accused of polluting channel

CASINO stock feed company Riverina has been charged for water pollution, but a poorly-worded application by the Environmental Protection Authority means a court decision is unlikely to come this year.

The EPA launched its Land and Environment Court case against Riverina in Sydney at the start of the month.

It accused the company of polluting a nearby drainage channel, which runs into wetlands and downstream, with fats, oils and a raft of mineral contaminants.

Riverina blends a mixture of poultry oil, molasses, vegetable oil and a commercial feed supplement on-site and boils them down to small pellets - the finished product.

It has no sewerage connection, meaning all liquid waste must be disposed of off-site.

The liquid raw material is kept in four tanks surrounded by a bund to stop and leaks or spillages from contaminating nearby waterways.

Richmond Valley Council received complaints about the alleged pollution in April, 2013 and took samples from the waterway and stormwater discharge pipes on the property.

After carrying out further checks in May, August and September, 2013, Riverina was charged in April this year.

However, Justice Rachel Pepper said the EPA wrapped two possible methods of the pollution into a single offence and was too vague in its description of when and how exactly the alleged pollution took place.

She reprimanded both the EPA and Riverina for not dealing with the errors before the trial began and said it would likely have to be adjourned again, this time to next year.


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