Waste-dumping charges against Casino company vague: court
A STOCKFEED company accused of dumping waste materials into a stormwater drain in Casino has won an appeal brought by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The company, Riverina, runs a mill on the western side of Reynolds Rd in Casino where it blends liquid material including poultry oil, molasses, vegetable oil and a commercial feed supplement to make stock feed pellets.
Land and Environment Court Justice Rachel Pepper ruled in December that an EPA summons over the alleged pollution was misworded.
She said two possible methods of the pollution were wrapped into a single charge, which was also vague in its description of how and when the alleged contamination took place.
She reprimanded both the EPA and Riverina for not dealing with the errors before the trial began and said the charges would be struck out unless reworded.
The EPA took the matter to the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal and has now been given the same answer - that it must change its summons if it wishes the matter to go forward.
The finding does not necessarily mean the case has reached its end.
The EPA accused Riverina of dumping the liquid waste produced from its stockfeed operations into a drainage channel which ran downstream and into wetlands.
Richmond Valley Council received complaints in April 2013 and took samples from the waterway and stormwater pipes at the site.
After further checks were carried out in May, August and September of 2013, Riverina was charged in April 2014.
A date for the next hearing has not been set.