It is a huge challenge for the automobile industry to be in compliance with the legislations of environmental protection by safe disposal of tyres. The power rests on the Department of Environment and Resource management.
According to the Environmental Protection Regulation 2008 businesses carrying out activities such as storing of tyres or recycling of tyres that is an environmental relevant activity (ERA) have to to acquire a progress sanction and a registration certificate. The certifications are ERA 56 for storage of tyres and ERA 59 for the recycling of tyres. In addition to this the reaching of threshold limits attracts an annual fee that is calculated on the basis of aggregate environmental scores (AES) for apiece ERA.
At present the threshold limit for storing tyres is fixed at 5 tonnes or not more than 500 tyres or part of tyres. ERA 56 certification is required for exceeding this limit. The regulatory and administrative authority was formerly called as the Environmental Protection Agency and has been newly named as Department of Environment and Resource Management or DERM.
The tyre recyling units operating a facility on a commercial basis come under the ERA 59 and recyling or receiving and reprocessing of 1000 or equivalent units of tyres is the threshold limit. Hence it doesn’t attract an AES but the obtaining of DERM permit is essential. The said activity is exclusive of retreading tyres.
The Beenleigh tyre dealer was reprimanded by the Chief Executive of DERM for violating the environmental protection order and failing to remove excess stockpiles of tyres at its various properties. The Brisbane Planning and Environment Court gave the verdict stating that Section 360 of Environmental Protection Act 1994 was violated and action has to be taken against the tyre dealer. The Beenleigh Magistrates Court fined the tyre dealer a sum of $85000.
For the unlawful management of waste tyres the Environmental Protection Order was issued to the tyre dealer. The main concern of DERM was that the stockpiles of thousands of tyres were an environmental hazard, and the possibility of a fire hazard can’t be ruled out as well. Plus the area had turned into a reproduction land for insects, particularly mosquitoes. Such illegal stockpiles of tyres results in various hazards such as a risk to public health and those matters come under the Public Health Act 2005.
It is the duty of individuals to have a commitment towards their environment. Section 319 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 highlights this issue. All the persons have moral responsibility to not carry out certain activities, which may cause harm to the environment. Until and unless the person takes all reasonable and practicable measures to minimize or prevent the harm they should not rest. The case in point revealed that the tyre dealer had failed to comply with such a duty and further he was storing tyres without a registration certificate or a development permit.
DERM was first made aware of the stockpiles of tyres from neighbors of the tyre dealer and this should serve as a cautionary tale to any of you who believe that a pile of tyres hidden behind a building are away from the public eye and scrutiny from DERM