COODE ISLAND COMMUNITY CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE
Thursday 13th February 2003
Bronwyn Brookman Smith
ITEM 1. WELCOME BY THE CHAIR
* Robin welcomed the committee members and other people attending the CICCC.
ITEM 2. APOLOGIES
* Apologies were received from Trevor Perkins, Dr Peter Brotherton and Deborah Macfarlane.
ITEM 3. CONFIRMATION OF THE DRAFT AGENDA
* The draft agenda was adopted.
ITEM 4. VISION FOR THE FUTURE. MICK BOURKE, CHAIRPERSON EPA
* Mick thanked the CICCC for their invitation to meet with them. He spoke about the future challenges in Victoria
Solid and Liquid Wastes.
The EPA are asking the community to take more responsibility for cutting their levels of waste because the present levels are not sustainable. There are 30 large producers of solid waste who will be encouraged by the EPA to reduce and recycle more of their waste in the future. This is not an easy task but the EPA and industry are working together in non-threatening partnerships to develop working plans to achieve these ends. 'We're hard but fair', he said. The EPA's regulatory structure is half a generation ahead of the rest of the community's expectations. EcoRecycle Victoria will take a leading role in the commercial waste management arena in the future. Kerbside recycling is going very well, better than the rest of the world.
State Environment Protection Policy - Waters of Victoria
This is the leading water protection policy in Australia. Its aim is to reduce the pollution loads in water resources. He said that sewerage treatment is now generally at secondary quality and much has reached tertiary quality. Mick said these strategies provide better environmental outcomes without associated increased costs. They pay for themselves. There will be further improvements made to storm water runoff and irrigation water quality.
There will be an enhanced focus on the health of rivers. Mick said that if rivers are to be sustainable in the future experts say 30- 40% of river flow must be dedicated to the environment (i.e. not diverted for water supply or irrigation).
The EPA is the only regulating body that guards the air quality in this State. Stack emission regulations have been in operation for 30 years. A 2002 report by the Auditor General acknowledged that improvements have been made, but further improvements are still needed. Car emissions are the main source of polluting emissions. A revised Euro 3 Vehicle Emission Standard will be implemented in the next 4-6 years. It will result in a decrease in diesel emissions. Sulphur will be reduced from 200ppm to 50 ppm. He said that Europeans are aiming to reduce their sulphur emissions to 10 ppm. Ford Australia P/L said recently that the early analysis of costs to implement the necessary production changes for their company to meet Euro 3 targets will be about $30-50 M in set-up costs.
EPA draft proposals for contaminated soil classifications are presently circulating for community comment. The proposal is to treat and recycle contaminated soils rather than to store contaminated soils. A safe site to process these soils is presently being sought. The government are expected to decide on a site which will probably be available to use in 12 - 18 months.
Mick said that the EPA were also working in the following program areas:
o Contaminated ground water. Groundwater is often considerably contaminated and it travels off site to other areas. As an example was the Docklands Development where the land was much-contaminated from previous uses. EPA monitors the clean up of such sites.
o Noise. Some fresh initiatives in noise regulations will be made in the next two years.
o Odours. This area attracts the majority of complaints from the community.
o Service delivery. Mick said the way we deliver services is important-we need a collaborative approach. Open communication is encouraged with all interest groups, authorities and individuals in the community.
o Environmental Improvement Plans. These indicate that the community accept improvement plans which are not necessarily perfect but that include plans for continuous improvements over time. He said that industry and the community were to be congratulated for engaging in such programs. The 5-year history of the CICCC process had been very constructive.
The New Department of Sustainability and Environment (which includes the built and natural environments).
The current state government have set up a Department of Sustainability to lead Sustainability for the State and they are keen to use the benefits of the existing EPA programs and the EPA will further contribute to any future sustainablity strategy for the state of Victoria. These strategies will result in lots of improvements in the next 20 years due mainly to efficient resource management, especially in the area of waste management. Resource efficiency (especially the reduction of waste) will be the main focus for the EPA.
* Ian Thomas asked Mick about his background before joining the EPA recently.
Mick said his background included accounting, business management, and employment with Comalco and with GMH. He then moved to the water sector in Central Victoria, in irrigation, sewerage and as CEO at Coliban Water in Bendigo. Before joining the EPA last year he was Managing Director of City West Water who had 700,000 customers and a water management plan with an environmentally sustainable focus.
* Ian said he was pleased that the EPA policed industry practices in the state. He asked why some companies were not policed at all, while others were vigorously targeted?
Mick said he was keen to see uniform implementation of policy across the state but realised that it was difficult to achieve this in every case due to regional differences. He has recently been made aware that further surveillance of some companies is required. This was an area to be addressed.
* Faye asked if the EPA track the movement and transport of liquid wastes on our highways etc? She said that on the Hume Highway she has observed liquid waste leaking from trucks.
Mick said that trucks would be carrying prescribed industrial wastes whereby they register their transport activity with the EPA prior to moving the waste. The EPA record the volume, product type and trip duration.
The 'Waste Certification Program', an EPA 'on line' system will in future allow improved manual tracking. He said that the EPA act quickly when the public make reports about leaking waste materials. He said that the EPA rely heavily on reports from the public and from industry. Presently the EPA employs 350 staff state-wide at 7 different locations. Most are located in Central Melbourne, with about ten employees at each of Dandenong, Traralgon and other country centres. Competency standards in the industry are improving with the introduction of competency standards studies at the Gordon Institute TAFE in Geelong.
* Michael asked whether the EPA is interested in the growth of transport volumes, and resultant waste, pollution and land take?
Mick said that the EPA have an 'intense interest' in issues associated with a growing population. He said the EPA have a view that different transport strategies are needed for the state including options that do not require the use of motor vehicles. He said that the 2030 Strategy Report released by government last year says the same. He said that we all have to consume 70% less to be sustainable for the future.
* Robin thanked Mick Bourke for sharing the EPA's vision with the CICCC.
ITEM 5.CHANNEL DEEPENING EES (Environment Effects Statement). LISA FALDON, VCA.
* Lisa tabled the 1st and 2nd newsletters of the EES.
She said that the Government will support the channel-deepening plan if the following conditions are met:
- Environmental legislative requirements are satisfied
- Technical concerns are answered
- Sound financing of the project is available.
Consultants will be appointed to implement the work in 3 different streams
- Biological and physical steam
- Engineering work
- Socio-economic stream.
Parsons Brinkerhof have been appointed as lead consultants.
The website covers the scope and methodology of the works. The EES will have a document ready for public comment by early next year. This will be followed by community comment, submissions and a panel assessment process. In Feb or March 2004 the stakeholders meetings will be commenced, with specific stakeholder groups. Lisa said that the EES have already held more than 10 public meetings with the consultants present.
* Robin said that channel deepening will affect Coode Island through greater tonnages and increased truck traffic, leading to amenity impacts in surrounding neighbourhoods. The CICCC are interested to know the resulting impact of the changes. He asked if these impacts would be addressed in the EES.
Lisa said that these impacts would be considered in separate studies like the 'integrated transport needs study'.
* George said that Terminals supported the deepening of the channel project. He asked if it were likely that heavy metal contamination was expected in the area if the deepening were to proceed.
Lisa said that the EES will look at this matter and as the process is transparent to the community, the information will be made available to the stakeholders. She said that when they dredge in the bay, the material is deposited elsewhere in the bay without it being treated.
* In answer to Robin's question about deepening the soft channels into the berths at the docks, Lisa said that deepening would include the heads area, south channel and the berths of the ports.
* Robin asked if the consultant briefs required the levels of contamination for all material to be dredged to be determined as part of the EES?
ACTION. Lisa will take the above question on notice, and get back to the CICCC with further advice.
* In answer to Faye's question Lisa said that any possible effect of erosion from changes to currents in the bay would be covered by the hydrogeological studies.
* Robin thanked Lisa for her presentation.
ITEM 6. THE TERMINALS PTY LTD ENVIRONMENTAL IMPROVEMENT PLAN
See Attachment 1.
6.1 General comments on the EIP
* Robin said that the last draft of the EIP was nearly ready. Carlo and Robin have worked together to reword the issues addressed at the last meeting. Major capital improvements required through the Safety Case are not included in the EIP but are listed in the Improvement Action Plan.
* Carlo said that changes have been made to
1. The preamble
2. Plant A: additional notes about the EPA requirement to monitor groundwater
3. Notes about the E side contaminated site have not been included because of the uncertainty about the timing of this work.
* George said that to remediate the site by mid to late next year, additional work needs to be carried out. This can be discussed in more detail at a future meeting.
* Robin said that the EIP provides a snap shot of the committed works to upgrade the facility. ( The E side is not part of that plan). It is an overview document with the finer detail to be found in other associated plans and documents.
The 'Regulatory Sign Off' column is to be used for comment by EPA and WorkSafe, when that particular piece of work is completed. The regulators will nominate whether the improvement has met, or has exceeded the statutory requirements. The whole plan will be reviewed in 3 years time.
George said that Terminals still have a commitment to the work required for the E side although it is not part of the long-term plan for the Terminals site.
* In answer to Faye's question George said that Terminals ongoing obligations were included as 'trends' in the EIP because the detail has not yet been finally formulated. These trends will not to 'drop out' of the EIP because many regulatory bodies will be regularly reviewing the EIP over time.
ACTION. Carlo will include more quantifiable detail in the EIP and the IAR, eg '19 tanks ' rather than just the wording 'tanks'.
* In answer to Ian's comment, George said that Terminals are committed (and have signed off with Government) to apply the highest feasible standards, rather than adopt a minimalist approach. He said that as a result, many additional items have been included to the plan, over and above what's required by the regulatory bodies.
Faye said that the community have trouble understanding what is meant by 'highest feasible standard' and she wondered if a 'number of stars' system might not better represent how the regulating body felt about the standard reached. ie was it a 3 star or a one star standard that was achieved. She said that the public could also then better measure the differences in standards between similar facilities like Marstel P/L and Terminals P/L.
George said that over time nothing stays the same because Terminals are continually improving the facility.
Michael said that when the detail is not specified in the regulations it is hard to understand what exactly is required to reach a highest feasible standard. Exceeding the standard is difficult to understand for the same reason.
George said that when an improvement is made in a facility somewhere in the world then the Terminals site will review that improvement to see if it is feasible.
Ian said he was pleased that Terminals have agreed to meet 'the highest feasible standard'.
ACTION. Robin requested that any further changes/suggestions about the EIP be e-mailed to him before the next meeting.
ACTION. Ian to write up suitable additional wording for 4.3.1 (seeking commitment to Terminals heeding the CICCC advice) and e-mail it to Robin.
It is intended that the EIP (and IAR) will be finalised next meeting.
6.2 Further advice from George re Best Available Practice for tank stripping
* George said that most terminals use a more crude form of emptying the remaining small amounts in their tanks than that employed by Terminals P/L. Terminals use a coned down floor with a sump at the bottom. Nitrogen is blown through to remove the remaining product. A similar technique is followed on bulk ships. He said Terminals are using a 'better than worlds best practice' in this instance.
In answer to Ian's question he said that Stolt Innovation Class vessels have the best systems and they use sump pumps at the base of their tanks like Terminals can't use pumps in their tanks but this is the equivalent. Quentin said that the Stolt vessels constitute best practice.
The MARPOL Convention restricts ships from washing their tanks at sea. They require that the ship's washings of known marine pollutant products have to be taken off at the dock before departure. Terminals are getting more "washings" for treatment and disposal than in the past.
6.3 Training assessments report
See Attachment 2.
* Carlo said that universal skill levels are being developed for all staff on the site.
Terminals provides internal modules on site, and external modules are provided by the Gordon Institute. Now operators need to achieve a minimum competency level to progress to the next grade. In reply to a question from Faye, Carlo confirmed that 'toolbox' training (which is an ad hoc on the spot training regime carried out day to day on an as needs basis) is still regularly undertaken.
6.4 Bund report
See Attachment 3.
* The bund capacity on the site exceeds the regulated requirements of the tank contents plus 20 minutes of firewater. The largest storage tanks on the site hold 500,000 litres of product.
The regulations which cover bund requirements include
- The EPA bund standard
- The Flammable Liquids Code
- The Fire Brigade Standard.
A consultant has been hired to complete a Bund Report which will be completed in the next 2 weeks.
Jarrod observed that MFESB prefer the inclusion in the bund capacity for 90 minutes of fire fighting water, not the 20 minutes currently included in the calculations.
ACTION. The report will include calculations for 90minute sprinkler/fire fighting water.
6.5 Groundwater protection report
See Attachment 4.
* Terminals have conducted trials at Plant B West to control the amount of hydrocarbon contaminants carried by groundwater to the river. The method involves "Sparge Curtains", a series of shallow wells (about one and a half metres deep) in a line between the facility and the river, through which air is pumped in a cycle of one hour every eight. The air is collected through a vacuum system near the surface, and the collected air is treated in a carbon drums to remove hydrocarbons.
The trial has reduced the levels of hydrocarbons moving towards the river at Plant B West significantly. Only two wells are showing Separate Phase Hydrocarbons (SPH). It is now planned to extend the Sparge Curtain to Plant C West (11 wells) and Plant B North (12 wells), and the existing equipment can handle the extended set-up.
* In answer to Michael's question Carlo said that the sparges are turned off for some periods of time so that the natural level of the water table is not disrupted.
ACTION. ERM Consultants will make a presentation about the sparge process at the next CICCC meeting.
ITEM 7. BRIEF REPORT FROM AGENCIES AND TERMINALS ON KEY ISSUES
* Jarrod said that correspondence about the Emergency Plan review will be forthcoming soon.
* Quentin said that the EPA's main activity recently has been in the assisting of the drafting of the Terminals EIP which he hopes will be finalised by the next CICCC meeting.
ACTION. Discuss at the next meeting the need for the attachment of a group signature page to the EIP.
* Jim reminded the CICCC that on December 2, 2002 Peter Brotherton emailed to the CICCC members his comments about the above issue.
Ian suggested that the wording of a signature page might be worthwhile considering.
ACTION. Quentin will get details about the possible future date for the opening of the new treatment site.
* John said that Kay Rundle (present CEO at Maribyrnong City Council) has resigned and has been appointed as the CEO for the City of Geelong. Council elections will be held in the next 4 weeks. Councillors Tonya Stevens and Sarah Coward will not be standing for re-election. The new council will select the new CEO.
Ian said that Colleen Hartland is standing for the Greens in the council elections.
ACTION. Robin will invite Sarah Coward to the next CICCC meeting to thank her for work in establishing the CICCC.
* John said that now the public consultation about an emergency warning system has been completed, council want to develop a pilot warning system. Council has requested Bruce Esplin, the Emergency Services Commissioner, to further progress the project.
ACTION. John will report on the outcome of meetings about this pilot system at the next CICCC meeting.
* Bronwyn said that on the 19 December 2002 Terminals P/L were granted their Major Hazard Facility License which last for a 5-year period. There are two conditions:
1. Before installing further connections to the new vapour emission control system (VECS), the operator must demonstrate to WorkSafe an appropriate risk assessment for all proposed configurations of the VECS.
2. The operator must not operate sites known as Plant B East and Plant C East beyond 31 December 2004 without an acceptable plan for maintaining tank integrity.
ACTION. George will e-mail the Terminals community information brochure to Robin.
ACTION. Bronwyn will forward the gazetted licence information to Robin.
* Ian congratulated Terminals on their achievement in obtaining their MHF Licence.
See Attachments 5 & 6.
* Carlo said that a number of tanks (including benzene and acrylates) have been attached to the combustor which is now fully operational.
* George has moved his new Terminals P/L national office to Queensberry Street, North Melbourne. Terminals have employed a new Chief Accountant.
ITEM 8. COMMUNICATION WITH THE COMMUNITY - DR PETER BROTHERTON
ITEM 9. CONFIRMATION OF THE MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING
12 December 2002.
* The minutes were adopted.
* Letters to Primary and High Schools. Robin tabled a list of the schools that received the correspondence. He said that he and Deborah will in future be addressing several Western Regional Network meetings to inform them further about the work of the CICCC and how it might be relevant for their students.
ITEM 11. ACTION ITEMS FROM THE PREVIOUS MEETING
11.1 Further advice on the Safety Case (terrorist attack) -HSE Subcommittee
ACTION. Delete this item as there is nothing to add to the presentation given sometime ago.
11.2 Draft submission to DoI on Melbourne 2030 (chair)
* John said that the Maribyrnong City Council would be happy to support the CICCC response. This will be stated in the text of their submission. However it is still in draft form and so cannot be tabled at this meeting. He said that Marstel and Terminals might wish to read each other's reports. The Committee endorsed the draft submission.
ACTION. Joint support for council and CICCC submissions will be noted in each submission.
ACTION. Robin will contact Marstel regarding the exchange of submissions.
11.3 Advice on suitable monitoring regime for benzene (Quentin)
ACTION. In view of Quentin already having left the meeting, Robin will request that Quentin circulate a written report before discussion at the next CICCC meeting.
ITEM 12. OTHER BUSINESS
* Ian is still trying to contact a possible future CICCC member.
ITEM 13. AGENDA FOR THE NEXT MEETING (13 March 2003)
* See the ACTION ITEMS above.
* George asked that the frequency of meetings be an agenda item for the next meeting. He feels that now that the EIP is almost completed, consideration should be given to possible bi-monthly meetings of the CICCC.
Thursday 13 March 2003
Thursday 10 April 2003
CICCC ATTACHMENTS TO DRAFT MINUTES
13 December 2002
Attachment 1 Terminals P/L - Draft EIP Action Report (sample page)
Attachment 2 Terminals P/L - Competency Training Program Report
Attachment 3 Terminals P/L - Bunding Requirements Report
Attachment 4 Terminals P/L - Groundwater Protection Report
Attachment 5 Terminals P/L Monthly Report - December 2002
Attachment 6 Terminals P/L Monthly Report - January 2003