EPA fines Benalla company over explosion, surveillance plan

The Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) fined particle board manufacturer Benalla Monsbent Pty Ltd (as D&R Henderson) over $ 16,000 for two offenses, including one involving an explosion reported by a member public.

The second fine was for an insufficient monitoring plan to meet the conditions of the company’s EPA license.

EPA Regional Director for the Northeast, Renee Palmer, said the caller for the EPA pollution hotline also described a plume of smoke rising from the premises.

“The explosion took place inside the facility, the local CFA brigade was called to the scene and WorkSafe was notified, but the company did not report the incident to the EPA,” Ms. Palmer said.

“It is a legal obligation for any company operating under an EPA license to notify the EPA of any violation of its license conditions, and it is a clear responsibility, it is written on its license,” he said. she declared.

The company provided details when contacted by EPA officers, and the EPA has determined that the release of smoke and pressure during the incident is considered a release to air without authorization, which must be reported to the EPA.


The explosion and fire took place around 1 p.m. on November 3, 2020.

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1970 and the Violations Act 2006, the company has the right to have the decision to issue the notice of violation or to have a hearing and a decision reviewed. the case by a court.

Members of the public can report the pollution by calling the EPA’s 24-hour hotline at 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842).

/ Public distribution. This material is from the original organization / authors and may be ad hoc in nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author (s). here.

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Missouri lawmakers approve prescription drug oversight plan; Bill walks up to the governor’s office

JEFFERSON CITY – Missouri is closer than ever to joining all other states in having a statewide prescription drug database, after the House on Tuesday sent in a bill that would create one to Governor Mike Parson for consideration.

The GOP-led House voted 91-64 in favor of the bill, which would allow a state-wide database that would provide doctors and pharmacists with a patient’s prescribing history so that they can they can intervene with medical help for those who may be struggling with an addiction.

Parson said he supports prescription drug monitoring.

Missouri is the only state without a database to track prescriptions, although St. Louis County created one after state lawmakers failed to act. At a minimum, it is estimated that 85% of Missourians are already covered by the surveillance program run by St. Louis County and joined by Greene County and many other counties in the state, according to the County of St. Louis website. St. Louis.

Following:Greene County to join Springfield in local prescription drug monitoring program

Following:Report: Stigma is a Barrier to Mental Health and Addiction Treatment in Greene County

Republican backer Rep. Travis Smith stressed on Tuesday that this means state lawmakers have no control over the default surveillance program for most states.

“It allows us to drive the narratives,” he said of the bill.

The bill’s passage came after years of unsuccessful attempts to implement such a program statewide.

Some skeptical Republicans have been the main dissidents, arguing that such databases could be hacked and threaten patient privacy.

“I would be interested to know how many people in this chamber are currently taking antidepressants (or) antipsychotic drugs,” Republican Representative Justin Hill told colleagues in the House. “Because it will all be in a database that the state does not have to manage. “

Missouri’s plan would only collect data on drugs that are considered controlled substances, such as opioid pain relievers and certain anti-anxiety drugs. The data could not be provided to law enforcement and could only be used for medical treatment.

Senator Holly Rehder, a Republican from Sikeston, has worked for this legislation since she was first elected to the House in 2012.

“After nine years of trying and not giving up, we got the PDMP right,” Rehder said in a Facebook video Tuesday. “He is heading to the governor’s office and I am very grateful for the bipartisan support.”

“It’s about families. It’s about substance use disorders,” she said. “It’s about allowing our healthcare professionals to see their patient data so they can make the best informed decision, and we can help stop the opioid epidemic.”

– News-Leader reporter Jackie Rehwald contributed to this report.

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2020 packaging producer responsibility monitoring plan

The Environment Agency monitors businesses to ensure that:

  • packaging producers in England contribute to the recovery and recycling targets of the European packaging directive
  • register of all compulsory producers
  • producer compliance systems fulfill their statutory obligations on behalf of member producers
  • they provide accurate data on packaging handled, recovered and recycled in the UK
  • there is precise data on registered producers
  • processing, recovery and export operators comply with the approval conditions
  • packaging waste is recycled and recovered according to the standards of the directive
  • waste packaging is not transported illegally

Our compliance activities include:

  • documentary assessments and reviews
  • validation checks on data submissions
  • analysis of data trends, search for fraudulent behavior, errors and anomalies
  • site visits

The revenues from packaging costs finance the majority of our compliance work with:

  • producers
  • producer compliance regimes
  • approved reprocessors
  • accredited exporters

We are allocating this funding, along with tax revenues from other producer responsibility regimes, to our national producer responsibility team.

In March 2019, we restructured the way we work to meet the demands of producer responsibility. We have moved to a nationally managed single delivery approach. This left us with a few vacancies, but we have now recruited 14 new agents. They start in February 2020. These agents will need to undergo a training program before they can monitor operators. Therefore, this resource will not be immediately available for site audits.

The revenues from packaging costs do not finance our:

  • inspections of green list waste exports
  • compliance with the Regulation on the cross-border transport of waste
  • surveys of unregistered packaging producers (called “freeriders”)

We pay for these activities with public funds.

1. Noncompliance

The Environment Agency will continue to identify packaging producers who are not registered (freeriders). We will investigate any freeriders that are reported to us. We will use a risk-based approach focusing on the operators with the greatest impact on the environment. We will use various means to bring non-conformers into compliance.

We also fund a specialized waste regime investigation team to support our officers in their investigations and to direct serious and significant cases.

Where appropriate, we will use our enforcement powers and tools in accordance with the Environment Agency’s enforcement and sanctions policy.

2. Evaluation, follow-up and validation of submissions

Submissions include:

  • registrations
  • accreditations
  • quarterly data returns

The Environment Agency performs a number of monitoring activities when processing registrations from both:

  • direct registrants
  • producers adhering to schemes

We monitor the information and data submitted by all (nearly 7,000) registered producers, including comparing data submissions with those from previous years.

In April of each year, after the registration deadline, we identify producers who have not re-registered. We contact them for:

  • know why they did not re-register
  • bring them into conformity if necessary

In some cases, we work with compliance programs to achieve this. However, when producers do not register or tell us their status, we will investigate them as freeriders.

At the accreditation application stage, we assess the complete application as well as the submitted sampling and inspection plans. We have to make sure they are sturdy and reliable. After granting accreditation, we will monitor sampling and inspection plans during on-site inspections and desk reviews. We will also verify other supporting documents and activities.

We will send reprocessors and accredited exporters a notice of suspension if they do not submit a quarterly data report. We can follow up on performance improvement requirements or take enforcement action as needed. We may also suspend or cancel accreditation if other accreditation conditions are not met.

3. Surveillance systems, direct registrants and accredited operators

Compliance programs for licensed producers must register their program annually. We perform a detailed compliance assessment of each registration.

We monitor producer compliance programs on a quarterly basis to verify progress in meeting their members’ obligations – for example by verifying procurement models for:

  • packaging recycling notes (PRN)
  • recycling notes for the export of packaging (PERN)

We do this to manage the risk of the UK failing to meet national and EU targets. We check more frequently towards the end of the compliance year. If necessary, we will highlight any issues we have with the program through phone or email discussions.

Towards the end of the compliance period, we check whether producers directly registered with us have fulfilled their obligations. We will contact the producers if there is a problem. We are sending reminders and will also verify that the obligated parties are:

  • to acquire PRN Where PERN
  • accepting PRN
  • submit certificates of conformity

We contact producers when we see a risk of non-compliance, for example if they have not acquired any PRN.

4. Compliance monitoring

Using a risk-based approach, we conduct compliance monitoring of:

  • packaging producers
  • conformity diagrams
  • approved reprocessors
  • accredited exporters

For calendar year 2020, we plan to perform 10 on-site inspections of approved compliance programs. This is in addition to our ongoing, desktop-based, all-program compliance assessments.

We plan to perform a minimum of 110 inspections of accredited operator sites, visiting all operators identified as high risk (sites categorized in red and amber). These site inspections will be guided by our risk profiling assessments. We can visit more sites if we feel it is necessary. We will decide according to the risk of the operator.

We may perform more than one site inspection on certain operators if our information, or our risk assessment, tells us it is necessary. Site inspections can be a pre-arranged or unannounced visit. Some sites can accommodate both types.

5. Summary of planned compliance activities


We will do it:

  • review and validate all direct listing requests so that national publications contain accurate data
  • investigate all reported freeriders to increase producer registrations – this to reduce non-compliance and ensure a level playing field for all producers
  • contact all producers who do not re-register (deposits) to confirm that they are no longer a producer, or to bring them back into compliance
  • make 83 producer site visits based on the risk we assess in terms of scale, complexity, late registration and data assessment – our goal is to validate data submissions or request that the data be resubmitted
  • contact all direct reporting companies at risk of non-compliance – to ensure they meet their recovery and recycling obligations and submit their certificate of compliance

Producer compliance regimes

We will perform basic checks on all registration datasets so that national publications contain accurate data.

To identify and resolve potential non-conformities, we will use documentary surveillance to:

  • compliance assess all system records
  • monitor all producer compliance programs on a quarterly basis and discuss their compliance position
  • evaluate all ad hoc Environment Agency model submissions (around 200)
  • assess the declaration of conformity for all producer compliance programs

We will perform 10 site inspections to verify that the approval conditions have been met and to identify and resolve any failures.

Accredited operators

We will do it:

  • determine all requests (and sampling and inspection plans) within the legal 12-week deadline and only accredit those that fully meet regulatory requirements
  • perform desk reviews of all quarterly data returns and correct any anomalies identified
  • perform a minimum of 110 site inspections, visit all red and orange sites (based on our risk profile) to verify compliance with accreditation conditions, and use improvement, enforcement, or two, to remedy any failure

6. Caveat

We reserve the right to refocus our efforts and priorities based on emerging threats throughout a year.

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