Thursday, 1 December 2016
Environment Minister Albert Jacob said the Light Industry Program partnered with local government authorities to help these businesses improve environmental management to better protect Perth's rivers.
Its success over the past year has prompted a commitment to making the program a permanent feature of the Department of Environment Regulation's annual compliance work.
More than 550 inspections of light industrial premises, such as automotive workshops, wreckers' yards and manufacturers, have been undertaken by the department and local governments in the rivers' catchments.
Inspectors have assessed and, where necessary, corrected environmental management practices, such as waste disposal and the storage of chemicals.
"These businesses can be a significant source of contaminants to drainage, feeding into Perth's rivers and it is important they are aware of the need to manage their operations to ensure they don't discharge materials that can harm waterways," Mr Jacob said.
"By regularly inspecting and working with these businesses, we reduce the risk of nutrients and contaminants, such as hydrocarbons, degreasers and detergents, getting in to groundwater and drainage systems."
The Minister said businesses had responded well to the program.
"This has been a co-operative rather than a big-stick approach, although the department has the power to respond if business deliberately do the wrong thing. I am pleased that most issues identified during these inspections were voluntarily addressed and are now being well-managed," he said.
"We have received strong participation in the program from the Town of Bassendean and cities of Bayswater, Belmont, Canning, Gosnells, Swan and Melville - with all committing an officer to work with our inspectors. It is a great example of how different levels of government can work together to protect public health and the environment."
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