The overall bill for the tyre fire cleanup continues to climb even before the EPA's potential penalties are applied to Katherine Town Council.
One legal bill for $21,486 was detailed in council agenda papers and spotted by a ratepayer this week.
The council has already spent close to $500,000 cleaning up the mess left behind from the Territory Day fire near the showgrounds.
The NT Environment Protection Authority has asked the council to "show cause" why it should not be found in breach of a multitude of environmental laws.
Council was found to operating an unlicensed dump of tyres of about 200 tonnes in an unsecured location behind the showgrounds, which caught fire on Territory Day last year sending a pall of black smoke over Katherine South.
Free public celebrations planned for the showgrounds were hurriedly moved to another venue so they could continue.
If all the possible offences the EPA have listed are found to be proven the council could be liable for fines totalling $5.8 million, although it is believed unlikely "maximum" fines would be levied in each case.
The EPA's "show cause" notice was presented to council at the end of November.
Waste tyres must be managed in accordance with the Waste Management and Pollution Control Act 1998 and its Regulations, an EPA spokesman has said.
EPA environmental operations director Peter Vasel told council the EPA's investigators have found "on examination of the information and evidence collected to date both about the circumstances leading up to the fire and of the fire itself, officers formed the view KTC may have contravened
- Section 30(3) - a person must not, except under an environment protection licence or a best practice licence, conduct an activity specified in Part 2 of Schedule 2.
- Section 83(1,2,3,4,) - polluting the environment causing environmental harm; and
- Section 83 (6,7) - improper storage of wastes/contaminants.
"These offences can carry significant penalties for both individuals and body corporates if prosecuted."
Council successfully asked EPA for an extension of time until the end of February to consider the "show cause".
It has asked for the delay to secure some legal advice.
At the March meeting on Tuesday night, one bill was recorded for $21,486 from Clayton Utz Lawyers for a consultants fee for "tyre fire investigation".
Council has said it created the second tyre dump because it considered the fire risks were greater at the rubbish tip, where a further 450 tonnes of tyres had been left.
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