A Southland farmer was fined for breaches of the Resource Management Act, when he appeared in the Environment Court at Invercargill.
A Southland farmer has been fined $16,250 after a hundred truck loads of contaminated soil was dumped on his farm.
Bradley Yorke, 54 of Wyndham, entered guilty pleas to two breaches of the Resource Management Act for an incident where more soil than allowed was dumped on his farm, and turned out to be contaminated.
In the Environment Court at Invercargill on Monday, Yorke admitted discharging a contaminant, namely asbestos fibre soils, heavy metals and/or polycyclic hydrocarbons, onto or into land from an industrial or trade premises, when not expressly allowed to do so by a national environmental standard or other regulations or a resource consent between May 1, 2019 and July 24, 2019.
Yorke also used land in contravention of the Proposed Southland Water and Land Plan, where that was expressly not allowed, on or about July 24, 2019.
Judge Brian Dwyer said there was no evidence the contaminants leached, but Yorke had been careless to a degree about what was being dumped on his property.
However, a contractor who Yorke worked with had breached his trust, Judge Dywer said.
Yorke’s lawyer, Dean Russ, told the court the contractor had known Yorke for 20 years and the deal for the soil was done on a basis of trust that the soil was clean fill.
A hundred truck loads of material was taken to Yorke’s farm to fill a gully. Five hundred cubic metres is allowed to be dumped without resource consent, which this incident exceeded.
Yorke needed to check on what was being dumped but that had not been practical as it was being compacted, Judge Dywer said.
However, when Environment Southland officers inspected the site, they could see contaminants, the judge said.
It would likely cost Yorke $30,000 to remediate the site, plus the cost of resource consents, Judge Dwyer said.
Yorke’s fine was reduced for previous good character and co-operation.