SYDNEY, March. 20 (Xinhua) -- The New South Wales Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Australia have begun fitting GPS devices to vehicles suspected of illegally dumping waste and hazardous materials.
The program will proceed as a 12-month trial and is part of a state government's crackdown on unlawful dumping.
"GPS systems allow the EPA to track the vehicle's' movements, alerting them if they travel near known illegal dumping hotspots," New South Wales Environment Minister, Gabrielle Upton said on Monday.
If the dumping location was traced, the agency has the power to impose on the spot fines of 15,000 Australian dollars (11,500 U.S. dollars) for corporations and 7,500 Australian dollars (5,800 U.S. dollars) for individuals.
State courts can also impose a maximum penalty of 1 million Australian dollars (777,000 U.S. dollars) with an option of seven years imprisonment for severe offences.
The EPA has told Xinhua, the vehicles being targeted were chosen after an ongoing investigation suspected them of a large scale, illegal dumping operation.
"The New South Wales government is serious about cracking down on illegal dumpers -- trial results show the trackers fitted to vehicles has deterred illegal activity and won't just deter those being watched but others who think they can get away with dumping on our communities and environment," Upton said.