COODE ISLAND COMMUNITY CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE
Thursday 12th December 2002
CICCC / Chairperson
City of Maribyr, GM City Dev /committee
Op. Manager Terminals P.Ltd./committee
State Man./Terminals Pty Ltd / committee
community rep./ CICCC committee
community rep./ committee
community rep./ CICCC committee
Dr Peter Brotherton
Combined Enviro. Groups / committee
community rep./ committee
|Bronwyn Brookman Smith
MH Div / WorkSafe
MF&ESB / ex off comm
Env. Protection Authority / ex off comm
WorkCover / ex off comm
Office of the Emerg. Services Commiss.
City of Maribyrnong
Dept Harbour Master/ Vict Channel Auth
ITEM 1. WELCOME BY THE CHAIR
* Robin welcomed the committee members and other people attending the CICCC.
ITEM 2. APOLOGIES
ITEM 3. CONFIRMATION OF THE DRAFT AGENDA
* The draft agenda was adopted
ITEM 4. BENTLEY CHEMPLAX PARAFFIN SPILL-OBSERVATIONS BY PETER HINKSMAN, DEPUTY HARBOUR MASTER, VICTORIAN CHANNELS AUTHORITY (VCA)
* Peter H said that Marine Safety Victoria consists of 6 regions. The Port Phillip Region has about 90 reported incidents per year while the other regions in the state receive, in total, about 6 reports per year. The Port Phillip Region includes the area from Cape Shank to Cape Otway, Port Phillip Bay and 3 miles out to sea. As the "Incident Controller' for the Port Phillip region, he attends the larger reported incidents in the Port Phillip Region only.
His role for VCA during the Bentley Chemplax paraffin spill was to respond to the report of the spill by doing an initial assessment of the spill. Prosecutions are undertaken by other authorities.
Peter H received the first phone call about 'the spill' at 7.30am. He was 'horrified' to hear it was about 80 tons of baby oil (a clear form of paraffin oil) spilt in the Maribyrnong River. This volume (between 10 - 1,000 tons) rates it as a tier 2 spill. He went straight down to the site of the spill.
He could not see the spill very well because the spilt hydrocarbon based oil had no colour and so was difficult to see on top of the water in the river. In some areas it was about 1cm thick. He assessed that the upper limit for the amount spilt was about 80 tons but he was unclear how far up the river the oil had spread with the tide, because he could not see the oil easily. He looked at the Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers.
The clean up action included the following
1. Booms placed at:
o The Powerhouse on Melbourne Dock
o Stony Creek Backwash
o Big Drain - which was later sealed off with soil
o Port drain
o Under the West Gate Bridge on the east side in the beach area
o 3-4 more booms placed up river
2. Both conventional skimmers and the Marko Skimmer were used to collect product which was held in portable tanks
3. Super Suckers were used to suck out the skimmers.. They collected about 20- 30 tons of oil.
The "baby oil" was easy to handle because it was not toxic. However it was very slippery. The clean up took 4 days to complete. It will take months for the remaining oil to degenerate. It took 5 days to clean up the booms and equipment.
A full debriefing was conducted and a resulting report has been made.
The EPA are currently investigating the incident.
* Michael asked what would have occurred if the sea conditions throughout the incident timeframe had been choppy rather than flat as they were reported by Peter H to have been?
Peter H said that they would not have been able to chase the spill in the bay if conditions had been choppy. He said that 'typically' sediments go with the flow of water over towards the Beaumaris area, and not to the Williamstown side. This will occur even when there is a wind blowing.
* Deborah said she saw a pocket of the baby oil spill at Footscray Park and so she wondered how many kilometres up the Maribyrnong River, was cleaned up by the authorities.
Peter H said they cleaned up what they could see which was to just past the Dynon Road bridge area. The booms across the Maribyrnong contained the oil that was coming down with the tide.
* Ian said he went down to the west bank of the Maribyrnong River two hours after hearing the radio report of the spill. He was between Youell and Lyons Streets and further upstream on the west side. The oil in that area was very evident because the breeze was pushing it against the west bank. He said he saw no clean up personnel or equipment in that area.
Peter H said 2 booms were installed at Holden Dock. He said there were sections of the spill that they did not get to straight away, but as the tides moved up and down it was collected in the booms.
In answer to Robin's question Peter H said that the EPA had reported that the oil was relatively clean and needed to be contained and collected with 'no environmental degradation' expected.
* Faye asked if Peter H knew of any technology that could be employed (like special glasses), to assist with the sighting of clean oils on water?
Peter H said he did not know if there were any such technologies available.
* Robin thanked Peter H for making his presentation to the CICCC.
ITEM 5. PROGRESS ON THE OESC PILOT PROJECT (ROBYN BETTS)
* Robyn spoke about the progress of the different streams of the project - namely
1. Community Consultation.
This has resulted in a completed report. There has been a high level of partnership and commitment.
A number of interest groups have been consulted, and interim findings made. The inputs will influence the design of community information and education strategies, and assist the understanding of diverse communities. A collaborative approach will help industry and the Melbourne Ports Corporation.
2. Development of a Design for a Community Alerting System.
The range of equipment still being designed will have to be sustainable. There is still lots of liasing to be completed so that a 'chain of communication' will operate and so enable a heightened awareness by industry and the community about what constitutes "community alerting", how the whole integrated process will work, and fit within the total emergency communication scene. The program does not want to end up with a stand alone industry based/triggered process.
3. Community Education Strategies.
These are now under way. They are being driven by Maribyrnong Council, who are working with industries, emergency services, Melbourne Port Authority and Hobsons Bay Council.
They are using the components collected from the previous consultation process. It is possible that the information gained could be used collaboratively across councils in the State. There are meetings planned for early 2003.
4.Operational Response and Communications.
The Maribyrnong City Council have been holding regular forums for industries in the area. This has resulted in a building of relationships between different industries. Robyn said she would like to congratulate the Maribyrnong City Council for their coordination of these 'very successful' forms.
The specific needs of the cultural groups in the area will need to be incorporated in future plans. There has been increased partnership between Emergency Services, Council and industry. Protocols are being developed, which will support WorkSafe in the Safety Case implementation.
* Robyn said that the benefits of the program so far included:
o Increased activity and communications between MPC and Maribyrnong City Council;
o Other stakeholders have been getting involved
o Increase in general knowledge about community alerting in Victoria ie at the recent flood warning workshop.
* Robyn said that the recent elections had put a stop to all public policy development but it is now progressing again. As a result the current information about the proposed Community Alerting System has gone back to government for their response. There are a lot of models to assess.
In answer to Peter B's question about what had been on hold during the pre election weeks, Robyn said that no decisions are made by governments during the election period, however work on the project did continue as normal.
* Robin asked if the report to Government was a briefing or recommendations.
Robyn said they were recommendations coming from the community consultations. She said that she couldn't talk about the recommendations at this stage. She said that the recent press statements saying that the project has 'stopped' were incorrect.
In response to a question from George, about the future process, Robyn said that once they have the go ahead from government there will be a consultation process with others to see how well the proposed system will fit with the stakeholders. She said that industry are now talking for the first time with local government and the emergency services about the need for such a community altering system. The model will have to fit well with industry, emergency services and others. In the meantime the community education process will continue.
* Deborah said that the debrief conducted by Emergency Services for the recent petrol spill, indicated that the lines of communication between emergency services and council were not good. She said this was different to Robyn's comments that indicated communications between the two were good.
John said that Deborah was referring to the petrol spill that had occurred before the commencement of this new project that Robyn is co-ordinating.
Theo said he was informed by 9.30am of the 'baby oil' spill (as it is called). This followed the assessment phase which occurred at 7.30am. He said that council had learnt from the results of the petrol spill debrief and these issues had also been further discussed in forums held with major hazard companies. He said he is now being contacted far more often by these companies but there is still more room for communication improvements between major hazard companies and council.
Deborah said that the baby oil spill occurred at 4am and she asked what the results might have been if the type of material spilt had been petrol or oil? She said that historically the practice emergency drill had shown communications problems as had the real petrol spill which had followed the practice exercise.
John said that he tests the MCC public information incident information provided by council, by phoning into the system himself.
Michael said he thought 2 hours between assessment of the spill and notifying council was too long a time span and he asked if it could be improved?
Theo said that council are informed before a full assessment is completed.
George said that with another product that could be seen more easily, the assessment would probably have proceeded more quickly.
Trevor said that the new proposed system will work like a reflex action to notify local government. Trevor said there are thousands of procedures to be followed in emergencies and it takes time to get used to them.
* In answer to Ian's question, Robyn said that should the technology not work then a fall back system will be included which will rely on things like major media, door knocking and loud hailers.
Robyn said that it is envisaged that during an industrial emergency, Mrs Smith will be able to:
1. Turn on the radio for information
2. Receive a phone message about the emergency
3. Receive a door knock
4. Phone her local council for updated information
5. Talk to her neighbours about the information.
ABC Radio 3LO will transmit emergency information. Radio 3AW has not yet been OK'ed for this. The Commonwealth Government indicated that they want radio and TV to interrupt programming to distribute appropriate information. Robyn said that the police will establish the protocols for this with the appropriate media bodies.
Theo said that the research indicated that some of the local residents don't know about their local community radio stations.
* Ian said his main concerns were that the Council officers had not gone down to the river when they were notified of the baby oil spill. Also, the agreement reached 2 years ago between Terminals and the local radio station (3WRB, Radio 974 FM) had been stopped as a result of this new project that Robyn Betts is managing. The community still don't have a reliable emergency notification system in place.'
Theo said Council had all the EPA updated information that they needed about the baby oil spill without going down to the river.
Deborah said that it was important to acknowledge Terminals work in this however the program had shortcomings because it did not involve other stakeholders and industries in the area.
Trevor said that the work of the CICCC and Terminals must be acknowledged but a system that will get continuity across the State is what needs to be developed for the longer term.
* Robin said that it was an improvement to see that all of industry were working together on this new OESC system development and that Council had a higher profile, and that the emergency services and Council were working together to make Council offices the centres for information dissemination.
He said that the CICCC have not been 'kept in the loop' and it would have been useful to know more about the options before they went to government for comment. He said the CICCC would like to have a copy of the 'Key Findings' when they are available and they would like to be better kept in the loop of information for the project as it develops. He thanked Robyn Betts for her presentation to the CICCC.
ITEM 6. BRIEF REPORT FROM AGENCIES AND TERMINALS ON KEY ISSUES
George said that on the 1 December he was promoted to Managing Director for Terminals P/L in Australia and that Carlo was promoted to the State Manager's position. Paul Haywood is the Operations Manager.
Terminals head office will be relocated from Sydney to Melbourne within 6 months. He said that its major customers are situated in Melbourne and that Terminals operate 2 facilities down here, while Sydney only operate one.
They expect to have WorkSafe's determination about the Safety Case by 19 December 2002.
* Robin said he had heard there were difficulties with the Marstel proposal.
George said he has not heard anything but that the project has not started yet, and the BP site was covered with containers. The gap is widening. Marstel, Huntsman and Dow must resolve their difficulties. Recently the Chairmen of Kaneb and ST Services visited Australia, to consider further acquisition of terminaling businesses in Australia.
Carlo reported that five WorkSafe inspectors had been on site for four days, reviewing the Safety Case. The combustors have been working for a month, and two shipments of benzene have been received. Lloyds has conducted an audit (covering Environmental Management Systems under 9001 and 14001) of all Terminals Australian facilities, and Terminals have retained accreditation for another 3 years. The Lloyds reports will be provided to the CICCC.
ACTION Carlo to provide the Lloyds reports to the CICCC.
* Quentin reported that during the month Terminals submitted a report on ambient benzene monitoring (as required under the licence) at Coode Island. Samples were taken during periods when ships were unloading. The performance was quite good, except for one measurement, which was above the SEPP equivalent limit.
ACTION The provision of a pdf file of the full monitoring report will be investigated.
* Bronwyn reported that during the WorkSafe assessment on site, the inspectors noticed tanker drivers supervising tanker loading from the top of their tankers, without any safety protection from falling. Terminals are now insisting that trucks be fitted with fold-away safety fences, and are investigating a system to make loading safe for those products for which such a system is impractical.
* Bronwyn provided the Committee with a brief summary of WorkSafe's "Constructive Compliance Policy", which covers prohibition notices, improvement notices, and voluntary compliance. She undertook to email a copy of the regulations to members of the CICCC.
* Trevor reported that MF&ESB is consulting with WorkSafe on the Safety Case. The Brigade has looked at Terminals Emergency Plan. It has met with Terminals and discussed a number of issues. Another meeting is planned next month to add value to the process. George commented that Geoff Millard had advised the Brigade has identified some deficiencies in the Emergency Plan.
ITEM 7. CONFIRMATION OF THE MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING
14 November 2002.
* Ian has 8 pages of changes to the minutes.
ACTION . Robin will go through Ian's notes and add changes as/if necessary.
* On Item 7, page 4, the paragraph commencing "Jarrod said that in recent years…" will be preceded by the words "In response, Jarrod said…"
* Invitation to EPA Chairman (accepted and will attend 13 Feb 2003)
ITEM 9. THE TERMINALS' PTY LTD ENVIRONMENT IMPROVEMENT PLAN
Defer to next meeting.
ITEM 10. ACTION ITEMS FROM THE PREVIOUS MEETING
10.1 Further advice on the Safety Case (terrorist attack) -HSE Subcommittee
Defer to next meeting.
10.2 Draft submission to DoI on Melbourne 2030 (chair)
Defer to next meeting.
10.3 Contact local schools re CICCC web site (chair)
* Robin said that there is a letter ready to go out. Deborah has given him the list of schools in the area to send the letter to.
George said schools (other than primary) were welcome to tour the Terminals site.
ITEM 11. OTHER BUSINESS
11.1 Ian e-mailed comments about the 'Worlds Best Practice' issues as noted in the previous months minutes. Ian continues to hold the view that Terminals have moved away from a commitment to "World's Best Practice".
ACTION. Robin sees this as a serious matter and will discuss it further with the CICCC paries in dispute and try to harmonise views.
11.2 Trevor made his apologies for the next meeting.
ITEM 12. AGENDA FOR THE NEXT MEETING (13 February 2002)
* See the above ACTION ITEMS above.
* Peter B requested that the EIP discussion appear early in the agenda for the next meeting.
Thursday 13 February 2003
Thursday 13 March 2003
CICCC ATTACHMENTS TO DRAFT MINUTES
12 December 2002
Attachment 1 Terminals Air Benzene Monitoring Results
Attachment 2 Terminals Monthly Report - November 2002