Waste tires at the Rocklea site before the fire. Photo: Glenn Hunt, The Sydney Morning Herald

A clean-up bill of $40,000 has been handed to a businessman from Brisbane – a fire that took place at his tire recycling facility this June, is claimed to have caused environmental harm.

On June 27, the fire broke out at Tyremil on Grindle Road in Rocklea. Starting from 7 am till the very evening, more than 10 fire crews had been damping the site and separating stacks of tires.

On the blaze day, both the Environmental Protection Agency and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services scientific officers attended the site to evaluate possible threats to residents and environment.

Tony Di Carlo, who owns the tire recycling facility, had already been issued with two Environmental Protection Orders (EPOs), addressing the problem of fire safety.

After the incident, the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, forwarded to Mr. Di Carlo a clean-up notice, in which it ordered him to clean drainage line from polluted firewater and burnt tire residue.

A $40,000 fine, with a payment deadline in January was issued to the facility owner by the department last week; the officials hope to regain the funds that were used for the site clearance.

According to a DEHP spokesperson, the Queensland Government took rapid measures to pump waste water from the Rocklea site in order to prevent pollution of a nearby brook when the incident happened.

Additionally, Mr. Di Carlo had been issued EPOs before by the department for his another tire recycling facility at Kingston in Logan. Possible non-compliances of the tire facilities’ owner concerning EPOs and the clean-up notice are now under investigation.

Earlier this year, right after the fire, Mr. Di Carlo said he had “no permits” on the site. He also said that he had been involved in the clearance of the site after Grindle Services. Furthermore, Mr. Di Carlo expressed his belief that a fire was lit by his previous dissatisfied employee.

According to the records provided by a spokesperson for the DEHP, a company, which Tony Di Carlo owned, was responsible for the site management. Chain of Responsibility laws, which were accepted last year, allowed the department to personally send the orders to the facility owner.

The environmental regulator now has a legal right to persecute companies and individuals who were unsuccessful in the environmental responsibilities upholding.

Article: The Sydney Morning Herald