The enforcement options that EHOs have to achieve compliance, with any unlawful environmental health risks that were identified, may involve control and suspension of permits (if there was any); the request for police assistance for several logistic needs and support; the handing out of penalties; seizure and confiscation; possibly, even the destruction of several items which are deemed hazardous and should be destroyed immediately; and presenting the information on the possible legal repercussions that would result from continued or persistent violation of environmental health policies, which may include imprisonment, fines, confiscation of items, seizure of items, suspension of permits or other privileges to operate, etc.
The EHO is required to make the necessary communication processes if there is a need to involve other agencies in the effort to resolve the case. Official communication should be sent to the offices of agencies concerned, including the details of the case and the amount, extent and level of participation or cooperation requested by the EHO to other agencies. Coordination should be exercised both in lateral and vertical positions in the agencies involved to ensure that proper protocol and chain of command is informed and addressed.
A recommended approach with regards to this particular problem involves the investigation not just of the person or entity who owns the land or leases the land and those involved in the dumping activities, but also of the political aspects involved in this problem. It should be cleared that unless or until there is sufficient evidence to establish that the owner of the land/property. The one who is undertaking the dumping activities is one and the same. Efforts should first be made regarding ascertaining the personalities of the individuals involved in this aspect. If it turns out that the person involved is one and the same, then a particular course of action and set of violations should be meted at the individual for any violations he or she made.
But if it turns out that the owner of the land/property is not the same person as the one who is involved in the dumping activities, then the investigation should first cover several important areas like ascertaining whether the land was leased to the individual with the knowledge of the dumping activity as the reason for the lease; if the dumping activity was declared to the owner of the land or if it was not declared, if the owner, despite the knowledge, agreed to the dumping activity, or if the owner knew at all that this particular activity is going on inside the property that he or she owned in the first place. It is no secret that in the past that the country and some of its key areas have suffered from the problem of illegal dumping activities because of a concerted effort involving individuals and organizations.
“In Australia, there was a probe in the state of Queensland into criminal activity in the hazardous waste industry (Kellow, 1999, p 100);” while “a group of Queensland residents came together to stop the illegal dumping of medial waste in their suburb. This protest was about locals working together and shows the benefits of having a good action committee (Thornton, McKeown, Phelan, 1997, p 85). ” This is disturbing because the pervasiveness of such cases reflects a certain degree of leniency or complacency or even involvement of local government officials for this kind of activity to be a constant bane despite laws, rules, policies and regulations that were established in different occasions.
The investigation and the enforcement of the penalties will be consistent to the acceptable lawful practice and consistent and adherent to the laws and mandates given to officers and agencies. Of course, it is highly recommended that the resolution of this case is pursued by every agency and officer involved with diligence and vigilance to ensure that justice is done. There is also a need to ensure that the environment, the people and their health are secured and protected by the laws enacted by government leaders, and also to be able to set another solid precedence in the hope that this particular problem will not be repeated by other potential offenders.
Like any other EHO, the description of the outcome that is hoped to achieve includes a set of action involving the removal of the dump; the monitoring, long term analysis and study of the affected area to ensure that the dumping activity did not leave anything that can cause long term or short term problems in the environment or to the health of the people even when the dump has been removed; the awarding of stiff penalties for the offenders so that they are discouraged to undertake this unlawful activity again in the future; a review of their credentials and the suspension of any or all of their permits, privileges and other things that empowers them to undertake activities involving sea.
Land and air; the effective treatment and removal of the contents of the dump site and the immediate rehabilitation of the location; and lastly, the review and analysis of existing laws involved in the environmental protection to see and check if these laws have sufficient power not just to prosecute and penalize offenders but more importantly, to provide a more comprehensive blanket of protection for the environment so that loopholes and other weaknesses in the laws are not used by individuals as excuse to abuse the environment.
Bundaberg. (2009) Local Laws and Policies [Internet]. Available from: http://bundaberg. qld. gov. au/council/local-laws-policies [Accessed 21 May 2009]. Bundaberg City Council. Local Law No. 23 (Cleansing of Premises, Nuisance, Filth, Rubbish and Sanitary.
Conveniences Smoke, Soot and Other Nuisances Public). PDF Bundaberg City Council. Local Law No. 25 (Public Health, Safety and Convenience). PDF Bundaberg City Council. Local Law No. 43 (Drainage Problem Areas). PDF Environmental Defenders Office (EDO). (2008) Community rights and the Environmental Protection Act 1994. [Internet]. Available from: http://74. 125. 153. 132/search? q=cache:Delxh6HCSUMJ:www. edo. org. au/edoqld/edoqld/new/EP%2520Act%25200508. pdf+Queensland+environmental+protection&cd=15&hl=tl&ct=clnk&gl=ph [Accessed 21 May 2009]. Environmental Protection Act 1994. (2009) Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel No. 9, 23 February.