Tens of thousands in fines over failure to appropriately dispose of asbestos

Tens of thousands in fines over failure to appropriately dispose of asbestos

A Queensland resident has been fined tens of thousands of orders for failing to properly dispose of asbestos that had been in a skip bin for years. Myron Lichtnauer was sentenced in the Brisbane Magistrates Court after being convicted of two counts of wilfully contravening an environmental protection order.

Mr Lichtnauer had worked in asbestos removal his whole career and had operated asbestos disposal services. In January and February 2020, he transported asbestos-containing waste to a land lot, and it was left in a skip bin, which was a contravention of his license.

This occurred after a period of dispute with the environmental authorities over the activities he had been undertaking at the site. Counsel for the Department of Environment and Science, Michael Nicolson, explained in court that Lichtnauer obtained a commercial benefit from keeping the skip at his site.

It is understood he was allowed to store the material at his site for five days, but he kept it for “years”.

Acting magistrate Rowan Silva explained that he knew Lichtnauer was engaging in high-risk environmental activity by offending, when deciding an appropriate penalty. He took into account the extensive history within the asbestos industry, and ordered Lichtnauer to pay a fine of $60,000 for both charges as well as costs for legal and investigations services of $9,800.

No convictions were recorded.

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