Spray painter fined for pollution offences

September 22, 2023

The owner of a Picton sandblasting and spray-painting business has been fined $47,000 and ordered to pay $14,874 in costs after being found guilty of six environmental offences, including two of causing pollution.

David Robert Evans, 70 years old of Bunbury, owns and operates Geographe Sandblasting, which has carried out abrasive blasting and spray-painting at its premises in Picton since 2018.

Since that time, witnesses from the business next door have reported 17 separate events involving either paint overspray, paint odour emissions, or abrasive blasting dust drifting onto their premises.

In June 2019, inspections by officers from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) and the City of Bunbury found evidence of conditions which would allow paint and blasting medium to escape from the premises. Orders were issued to the business to rectify problems with waste extraction and containment, however there was evidence that the pollution continued.

After further reports of pollution from the premises, DWER inspectors placed surveillance cameras, dust monitors, and a glass overspray panel at the business next door to Geographe Sandblasting. The evidence gathered by these methods formed part of the case against Mr. Evans.

He pleaded guilty to six offences, two of causing pollution, and the remainder of breaching various specific regulations.

DWER Executive Director of Compliance and Enforcement, Ruth Dowd, said people who experienced pollution from a nearby business should report it: “If incidents such as this are reported, our inspectors can evaluate whether the business needs to take action to address the concerns, and, if appropriate, whether legal action should be used to force compliance.”

This is valid as of 19th September 2023.

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