(1) For the purposes of this Part:(a) harm to the environment is material if:(i) it involves actual or potential harm to the health or safety of human beings or to ecosystems that is not trivial, or(ii) it results in actual or potential loss or property damage of an amount, or amounts in aggregate, exceeding $10,000 (or such other amount as is prescribed by the regulations), and(b) loss includes the reasonable costs and expenses that would be incurred in taking all reasonable and practicable measures to prevent, mitigate or make good harm to the environment.(2) For the purposes of this Part, it does not matter that harm to the environment is caused only in the premises where the pollution incident occurs.
(1) Kinds of incidents to be notified
This Part applies where a pollution incident occurs in the course of an activity so that material harm to the environment is caused or threatened.(2) Duty of person carrying on activity to notify
A person carrying on the activity must, as soon as practicable after the person becomes aware of the incident, notify the appropriate regulatory authority of the incident and all relevant information about it.(3) Duty of employee engaged in carrying on activity to notify
A person engaged as an employee in carrying on an activity must, as soon as practicable after the person becomes aware of the incident, notify the employer of the incident and all relevant information about it. If the employer cannot be contacted, the person is required to notify the appropriate regulatory authority.(3A) Duty of employer to notify
Without limiting subsection (2), an employer who is notified of an incident under subsection (3) or who otherwise becomes aware of a pollution incident which is related to an activity of the employer, must, as soon as practicable after being notified or otherwise becoming aware of the incident, notify the appropriate regulatory authority of the incident and all relevant information about it.(4) Duty of occupier of premises to notify
The occupier of the premises on which the incident occurs must, as soon as practicable after the occupier becomes aware of the incident, notify the appropriate regulatory authority of the incident and all relevant information about it.(5) Duty on employer and occupier to ensure notification
An employer or an occupier of premises must take all reasonable steps to ensure that, if a pollution incident occurs in carrying on the activity of the employer or occurs on the premises, as the case may be, the persons engaged by the employer or occupier will, as soon as practicable, notify the employer or occupier of the incident and all relevant information about it.(6) Extension of duty to agents and principals
This section extends to a person engaged in carrying on an activity as an agent for another. In that case, a reference in this section to an employee extends to such an agent and a reference to an employer extends to the principal.(7) Odour not required to be reported
This section does not extend to a pollution incident involving only the emission of an odour.
(1) If the regulations prescribe the manner or form of notifying pollution incidents under this Part, the notification is to conform to the requirements of the regulations.(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the regulations:(a) may require that verbal notification be followed by written notification, and(b) may provide that notification to a designated person or authority is taken to be notification to the relevant person or authority under this Part.
The relevant information about a pollution incident required under this Part consists of the following:(a) the time, date, nature, duration and location of the incident,(b) the location of the place where pollution is occurring or is likely to occur,(c) the nature, the estimated quantity or volume and the concentration of any pollutants involved,(d) the circumstances in which the incident occurred (including the cause of the incident, if known),(e) the action taken or proposed to be taken to deal with the incident and any resulting pollution or threatened pollution,(f) other information prescribed by the regulations.
(1) A person is not required to notify a pollution incident under this Part if the person is aware that the incident has already come to the notice of the person or authority required to be notified.(2) A person is not required to notify a pollution incident under this Part if the incident is an ordinary result of action required to be taken to comply with an environment protection licence, an environment protection notice or other requirement of or made under this Act.
A person who contravenes this Part is guilty of an offence.
Maximum penalty:(a) in the case of a corporation—$1,000,000 and, in the case of a continuing offence, a further penalty of $120,000 for each day the offence continues, or(b) in the case of an individual—$250,000 and, in the case of a continuing offence, a further penalty of $60,000 for each day the offence continues.
(1) A person is required to notify a pollution incident under this Part even though to do so might incriminate the person or make the person liable to a penalty.(2) Any notification given by a person under this Part is not admissible in evidence against the person for an offence or for the imposition of a penalty.(3) Subsection (2) does not apply to evidence obtained following or as a result of the notification.