Australia Cracks Down on Notorious Asbestos Dumper
Dib Hanna has become famous – or rather, infamous – in Australia as an asbestos dumper. Over the last decade, the middle-aged man has become Sydney’s most notorious illegal asbestos dumper, local news outlets write, and now he’ll become more well known as the first person to be jailed under the new asbestos-dumping rules in the Australian state of New South Wales.
It’s a sentence that’s been a long time coming, say environmentalists in that country.
It’s not as if Hanna hasn’t been caught in the past. He has, but he’s gotten away with minimal fines and suspended prison sentences.
But this week, Australia’s Land and Environment Court sentenced the offender to three years in prison but no chance for parole until he’s reached two years, three months.
The sentence stems from his latest dumping antics, which had him disposing of waste on private properties in East Kurrajong, Llandilo and Wallacia in 2015 and 2016.
Not only will Hanna be required to serve prison time, but he’ll also be responsible for clean-up at those sites, will need to pay the EPA’s legal costs, and must place newspaper advertisements explaining his crime and his penalties, in hopes that this will deter others from committing similar infractions.
Hanna was sly in his actions, reports a story on ABC News Australia, and his victims had no idea that his schemes were so devious.
“He advertised free clean top soil, clay, crushed bitumen and the use of an excavation machines to Sydney residents via a letterbox drop,” the story explains. “When contacted by interested residents, he sent truck drivers to dump more than 460 thousand kilograms of waste, including asbestos, at their homes.”
Then he’d disappear, leaving them with a load full of toxins that they thought was clean topsoil.
People like Hanna operate in the U.S. as well and asbestos dumping is still common in America, usually because shoddy contractors don’t want to pay to dispose of the toxin in the proper manner.
Though this was the first jail sentence for an offender in Australia, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has long imprisoned individuals who’ve dumped illegally.
Nonetheless, anyone who suspects they’ve been foiled by someone like Hanna or who knows of a contractor who’s illegally disposing of asbestos should contact their local EPA for more information on how to finger the culprit and info as to who to contact so that the asbestos is contained and the public is kept out of harm’s way.