THE NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has issued a total of $43,000 in fines to two logging contractors and a landowner for three separate environmental incidents arising from unlawful logging practices on private properties on the NSW north coast.
All three incidents allegedly involved multiple breaches of the PNF Code of Practice and resulted in water pollution.
EPA Director of Forestry Michael Hood, said protecting water quality from logging activities is a priority for the EPA.
“Clean and natural running waterways can be impacted when logging activities don’t comply with the rules in place,” he said.
“Unlawful practices such as building roads across waterways using soil, not only impacts on the flow of the streams but can cause significant soil erosion and water pollution.”
The EPA fined a logging contractor $20,500 for conducting a forestry operation that did not comply with a Private Native Forestry plan at a private property in Drake, west of Casino.
The logging contractor constructed a waterway crossing using a large volume of soil that was pushed into the running stream, polluting the water.
The contractor also logged trees within riparian exclusion zones. These protect streams and provide habitat and refuge for animals during and after forestry operations.
In a second incident a private landowner in Lansdowne north of Taree was fined $7,500 for clearing vegetation along a significant length of a running stream, leaving continuous bare earth, causing soil erosion and water pollution.
A third fine was issued to a logging company working on a private property at Marlee, north west of Taree.
The company was fined $15,000 for polluting waters after the logger pushed a large volume of soil into a stream so logging machinery could cross. This dammed the natural waterway and caused ongoing water pollution.
In all instances, the EPA required the responsible persons to repair any damage to the sites.