Warning: Don’t eat fish from this lagoon
THREE weeks after nine drums of waste were found illegally dumped in a tidal lagoon north of Yeppoon, a Queensland Government department has issued a public safety warning.
On Wednesday the Department of Environment and Science advised people not to consume fish caught in the lagoon.
“Test results show the drums, which were removed from the lagoon on 31 October, contained paint thinner, which can be harmful to aquatic biota,” a department spokesperson said.
“Paint thinner does not mix readily with water and breaks down slowly.
“Compliance officers have taken more soil and water samples from the lagoon, and people are advised not to consume fish caught in the lagoon.
“Soil and water samples are still being examined to determine the extent of environmental impacts on the lagoon.”
The department said its investigations were continuing and it had interviewed persons of interest.
It said illegal dumping was a serious offence and could lead to significant environmental harm.
The maximum penalty for illegal dumping is $133,450 for an individual.
“As the environmental regulator, DES takes compliance issues seriously,” the spokesperson said.
“The department has set clear expectations about acceptable standards of environmental performance.
“Where compliance issues are identified, the department will take strong enforcement action.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Pollution Hotline on 1300 130 372.