Man fined $100k for NSW land pollution

·2-min read

A Sydney man has been fined $100,000 for dumping about 21,000 tonnes of concrete, car parts, timber, plastic and asbestos on the banks of the Hawkesbury River.

Sam Abbas pleaded guilty to three environmental offences at a property near the small Central Coast town of Spencer.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority charged the father-of-five with land pollution, unlawfully transporting waste and using the property as a waste facility between February 2015 and May 2016.

Mr Abbas said in his affidavit that he noticed a "large amount of waste material" on the property when it was purchased by his sister.

He thought the fill material he bought to cover the waste and make the property more level was "clean" and made of clay, shale and dirt.

Mr Abbas claimed when he realised some of it contained "demolition material" he directed it to be covered up, "in the belief that such covering would bury the material and ensure it did not enter the river".

He said he did not know the material deposited on the property could cause environmental harm until he read a report from the illegal dump squad.

"In hindsight, I should have been diligent and ensured that all fill placed on the property was clean," he said.

"I am deeply regretful that my actions have led to this result and without reservation apologise to both the court and the community for my actions and those who brought the material to the property at my request."

On top of the fine, the Land and Environment Court has ordered he pay the EPA's investigation costs of $80,000 and its legal costs.

Mr Abbas has also been issued with a clean-up notice which requires him to take steps to remediate the property to remove the risk of ongoing harm to the environment.

Justice Nicola Pain ruled while the court was not satisfied there was significant water pollution caused by the dumping, the harm to vegetation was "significant".

"The court was satisfied that Mr Abbas's intention of committing the offences was to improve the property and to cover the waste placed on the property by others albeit this was very poorly executed from an environmental perspective," Justice Pain said in her judgment.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting