Environmental compliance

Air pollution

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Emissions into the air can cause a nuisance to neighbours and interfere with their normal daily activities. If severe enough, it can even impact on people's health and the environment.

The responsibility for air pollution / quality does not lie with one government department or agency. The Department of Environmental and Heritage Protection (EHP) is the lead governmental department in Queensland. To ensure the quality of the air in Queensland, the State Government introduced the Environmental Protection (Air) Policy 1997. Council plays a minor role in air quality through the licensing of spray painting, fibre glassing, and other small to medium sized businesses.

Smoke complaints

Any complaint concerning household smoke, excluding emergency situations such as a house on fire should be forwarded to the Council for action. In most situations, if Council receives a complaint of a smoke nuisance, the Council will respond and determine who has jurisdiction or who is most appropriate to resolve the matter. Where it has been determined that another agency is most appropriate to respond, the Council Department will forward the complaint to that agency for action, and notify the complainant.

Council's Development Services Department investigates and enforces smoke complaints resulting from a development site. Council has provisions under the Development Permit to take action to resolve the matter.

Spray painting

The Environmental Protection Act 1994 prohibits an activity from causing a nuisance to surrounding residents. This may include nuisance from over spray or odours associated with spray painting. Council will not allow continuous spray painting of large pieces of equipment and/or cars in residential areas or spray painting in the open where over spray and odour becomes a nuisance to surrounding residents. The Community Response Department has jurisdiction to respond and resolve these issues. This generally occurs in conjunction with an officer from the Development Services Department.

There are differing standards for spray painting dependant on numerous factors including:

  • Commercial operation
  • Zoning under the Town Planning Scheme
  • Licensed under the Environmental Protection Act 1994
  • Non licensed premises (residential and general commercial)

Council under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 generally licenses commercial spray painting operations. However, there are a number of businesses within the Pine Rivers that do not require a licence (wood product manufactures, cabinet makers)and the Environmental Protection Agency is responsible to respond and resolve matters from those premises.

Noise pollution

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Noise can disturb neighbours, disrupt their sleep and interfere with their normal daily activities. How annoyed we become depends on the loudness, time, place and frequency of the noise. It can even impact on people's health, especially the very young and the elderly.

Public health risk

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Examples of public health risks include mosquitos, rats and mice, asbestos and water.

Asbestos dust

Great care is required when removing asbestos sheeting to ensure that dust does not pose a health risk. Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous substance used mainly before the 1980s as an insulation and fire-proofing material. Asbestos has been banned since the early 80s as a building material.

Asbestos only presents a health risk when in the form of airborne dust which can be inhaled. Medical experts maintain that intact fibro walls and roofing present no health risk to occupants. However a health risk is created when asbestos fibro sheets are damaged, broken or drilled, generating asbestos fibres which can be inhaled. Inhalation of asbestos fibres has been linked to diseases such as lung cancer and asbestosis which can take up to 40 years to develop. Most people who develop these diseases have been exposed to asbestos for a number of years.

Customers should contact the following agency for advise:

Asbestos can be disposed of at the Dakabin Waste Facility, Old Gympie Rd, Dakabin.

Dust nuisance

Determining the appropriate Government agency or department that has jurisdiction to respond and enforce corrective actions can be difficult. The following Government agency and departments of Pine Rivers district have jurisdiction to respond to dust complaints:

  • Environmental Protection Agency 
    For complaints about a commercial property which is not licensed by the Councils Community Response Department under the Environmental Protection Act 1994. Generally, if the Community Response Department receives a complaint concerning dust, it would conduct an initial investigation prior to forwarding the matter to the Environmental Protection Agency for action.
  • Community Response Department 
    For complaints about residential properties, builders and licensed activities.
  • Development Services Department 
    For a development permit that has been issued under the Integrated Planning Act 1997.

Waste management

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The storage of waste can cause a nuisance to neighbours and interfere with their normal daily activities. If severe enough, it can even impact on people's health and the environment.

Water pollution

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Water is a scarce and essential nature resource. Conserving and maintaining water quality is especially important in Australia. Preventing or reducing water pollution protects our water quality and is essential to maintaining the health of our environment and our own quality of life.

Washing vehicles and outdoor cleaning

Wastewater from vehicle washing and outdoor cleaning may contain surfactants, hydrocarbon residues, heavy metals, sediment and other water contaminants.

It is an offence to unlawfully release wastewater from the washing of vehicles or outdoor cleaning activities into a roadside gutter, stormwater drain or a waterway. On the spot fines are applicable under section 440ZG of the Environmental Protection Act 1994.

Ideally, vehicles should be taken to car wash facilities that have approved trade waste systems installed.

If a vehicle is to be washed at home, the vehicle should be parked in an area where the wastewater will not enter the roadside gutter or stormwater drains.

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