Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 No 156
Current version for 1 November 2014 to date (accessed 20 December 2014 at 05:14)

148   Pollution incidents causing or threatening material harm to be notified

(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, immediately after the person becomes aware of the incident, notify each relevant 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, immediately 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 each relevant 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, immediately after being notified or otherwise becoming aware of the incident, notify each relevant 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, immediately after the occupier becomes aware of the incident, notify each relevant 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, immediately, 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.
(8) Meaning of “relevant authority”
In this section:

relevant authority means any of the following:

(a)  the appropriate regulatory authority,
(b)  if the EPA is not the appropriate regulatory authority—the EPA,
(c)  if the EPA is the appropriate regulatory authority—the local authority for the area in which the pollution incident occurs,
(d)  the Ministry of Health,
(e)  the WorkCover Authority,
(f)  Fire and Rescue NSW.

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