Oz granny gets rogue tenant’s $1.3m toxic clean-up bill!

April 12th, 2009 - 10:44 am ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, April 12 (ANI): An Australian grandmother has been ordered to pay a 1.3-million dollar bill after her absconding rogue tenant left behind 300 drums of toxic waste at her warehouse.

According to Ruth Browne’s children, Alf Browne and Bev Olbrick, the tenant had violated his EPA licence after piling 50 tonnes of dry cleaning chemical and waste on the premises as against the 1.2 tonnes guideline.

Alf claimed even though environmental regulator was timely informed about the breach, yet it was demanded that the 82-year-old, owner of the premises in Ebden St, Moorabbin in Melbourne, bear the clean-up bill.

Bev added that her distraught mother was ready to face the bars.

“She’s prepared to go to jail rather than pay the bill,” News.com.au quoted her as saying.

David Davis, opposition spokesman for the environment, has laid the entire blame on the EPA, saying it failed to fulfil its responsibility.

He said: “Because of the EPA’s failure to act at an early point, failure to enforce regulations and failure to guarantee that toxic chemicals were not stored in capacities above what was allowed by permits, a landlord is now faced with a very difficult position.

“The landlord here is being told she is responsible, despite her telling the EPA at an early point that they needed to act against a tenant who was breaking the law.”

“What is the point of having licences for the storage of toxic waste if the conditions of those licences are not enforced and breaches not prosecuted?” (ANI)

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