Thursday 20 September, 2007
CICCC / Chairperson
Environment Protection Authority
Regional Engineering Manager, Terminals Pty Ltd
State Manager Victoria, Terminals Pty Ltd
ITEM 1. WELCOME BY THE CHAIR, APOLOGIES & CONFIRMATION OF DRAFT AGENDA
Robin Welcomed all to the meeting.
Apologies: George Horman, Geoff Millard, Theo Pykoulas
Confirmation of draft agenda – adopted
Robin Suggested we start with the Newsletter contents (refer attached Newsletter showing mark ups). Refer also to Item 6 “Other Business” in minutes.
ITEM 2. CONFIRMATION DRAFT MINUTES FOR THE MEETING ON
17 MAY 2007 AND REVIEW ACTION ITEM LIST
05/07-1 Current version of IAR to be made slightly more specific. Robin to liaise with Carlo and Tim. Update and post to web. – Put on website as presented by Carlo.
05/07-5 Terminals to provide report on chemical storage figures every 6 months (March and September) – Report to be provided next meeting.
ITEM 3. REPORTS FROM AGENCIES AND TERMINALS
TERMINALS PTY LTD
Peter Terminals have developed a system of nitrogen generation as a gas on site which they hope will cut down costs and cartage of liquid nitrogen to the site.
The language barrier with regard to communicating with ships is becoming increasing difficult. This presents a concern about safety, Terminals have made comments to the shipping agents and have stipulated that Terminals will not be unloading ships in the future if there is not an English speaking person on duty during discharge.
Susie Maybe the committee could make an approach to the Port of Melbourne Corporation stating our concerns with the safety aspect.
Peter The EPA have no say with regards to the ship unless there is a spill and WorkSafe only get involved if there is an incident.
Susie Would of thought there was some way of galvanising the authorities to get involved.
Carlo The only way to get action is to stop the unloading of the ship making it a commercial decision.
Bro: Note the information with concern that Terminals has brought to our attention and write to Port of Melbourne Corporation endorsing our concerns.
Robin Committee in favour of Bro’s suggestion.
ACTION: Robin to write to the Port of Melbourne Corporation.
Peter This problem has been ongoing for years with no satisfactory action taken.
Peter Terminals have lost Michael Frost, Maintenance and Operations Superintendent to Marstel, we wish him all the best for the future.
Robin Received an email from Theo regarding Maribyrnong Council being nominated for a Safety Community Award. Will tell us all about it at the next meeting.
Theo also mentioned in his email the incident on the wharf over the weekend 15-16th September, 2007 and the subsequent actions the council took in trying to inform the community.
Robin: Asked Tim if he could elaborate on the details of the incident.
Tim The incident happened on the site of the P & O Ports who were bought out by D.P. World earlier this year. The incident happened on Saturday afternoon when there was a small leak of Ethyl Acrylate. Not sure of the quantity just know that it was only small. It occurred when an Isotainer containing the product was damaged. The incident was reported mid afternoon Saturday.
Reports of odour came from as far away as Tullamarine and Williamstown. The odour threshold is 2 parts per billion, safe exposure is 5 parts per billion. The EPA and MFB were in attendance at the site most of the weekend controlling the incident. During their investigation no detectable levels to the atmosphere were measured. Therefore no safety levels were exceeded. Reports received within the community were that people smelt the odour and felt ill. Some of the workers on Patrick’s site went home sick.
The damaged isotainer was decanted into another isotainer. EPA sourced a neutralising agent from BASF (MEA) to clean up spill.
Deborah Are they likely to be fined?
Tim If enforcement is warranted yes. These sites are not classified as a Major Hazard Facility as the chemicals are only stored for a short time.
Andrew Reported the odour myself at 2:20pm. The fire brigade attended the site at 2:40pm. The southerly wind prevalent at the time changed to a northerly drift affecting widespread communities.
Deborah There were quite a wide circle of communities affected.
Robin Concerned where the containers are sealed so it doesn’t seem possible for authorities to keep track of the quantity of containers contents.
Carlo The containers carrying these types of chemicals are labelled similar to trucks and stored in certain sections of the wharf.
Tim The EPA is investigating the incident and will be advising D.P. World of what actions will be required.
Robin Asked Tim to advise committee of investigation outcome from the leak at D.P. World of Ethyl Acrylate.
ACTION Tim to report on investigation of the ethyl acrylate spill at D.P. World outcome at next meeting
Susie Knew of community members ringing the Williamstown Police Station regarding the odour tying up valuable resources. Asked Tim if the EPA have a website as there was nothing mentioned on 774 radio.
Robin Council posted a message on the City of Maribyrnong phone system.
Peter Asked how everyone felt when they were informed about the spill as on the TV the footage shown was of the tanks?
Robin Would welcome a recommendation that the committee write to council and agencies pointing out communication deficiencies when such incidents occur.
Deborah The odour affected a large number of municipalities.
Susie People did not know what the odour was and if it was harmful.
Michael Rang the council and listened to the recording and then rang the call centre as advised to do so on the recording. On contacting the call centre was advised to contact the EPA.
Susie If council involved only need to provided a recorded message or direction to the website.
Peter Everyone jumped on the band wagon after the fires. The news gave no details just highlighted tanks and that was it. No details were given to contact anyone regarding their concerns.
Susie The smell caused fear and concern.
Peter How different the scenario would have been if had wafted into the packed stadium of Telstra Dome during the football match.
Bro All we hear are the fire engines going past. As the odours of such leaks are profoundly exquisite, after 20 years why is this issue so difficult to fix.
Robin Will write to the council about this issue and copy to PACIA
ACTION: Robin to write to the council and authorities pointing out communication deficiencies when such incidents occur.
ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION AUTHORITY
Tim There have been some staff changes and Quentin is back. Scott Maloney has resigned taking up a position at BHP Alumina Refinery, Bunbury W.A., heading up the environmental department.
Prior to the meeting circulated copy of the draft EPA licence for Terminals. There is a condition on the licence to ensure only on site waste is to be put thru combustor. Under the Marpol (marine pollution) convention Terminals have to take ship tank washing waste as part of their normal operations and obligations. Section 1.2 of the licence.
Robin Section needs to be reworded to say that only liquid waste generated on site with the exception of ship tank washings to be put thru combustor.
Peter The licence stipulates only Marpol washings.
Tim The ground water monitoring program undertaken on the site recorded levels below those of concern so therefore dropping two of the four wells. Terminals going to monitor only the two wells close to the river.
ITEM 4. REVIEW IAR AND EPA SIGN OFF
To be placed on Website as is.
ITEM 5. OPEN DAY AT COODE ISLAND
20th October, 2007
ITEM 6. OTHER BUSINESS
The intended Newsletter was read and recommended alternative wording was put forward for Terminals consideration. Copy of alterations attached.
MELBOURNE PRINTING MUSEUM
Robin Asked if anyone had seen the article in “The Age” 13 September, 2007 about the Melbourne Printing Museum in Moreland Street, Footscray started up by Michael Isaachsen. Michael was congratulated for his tireless work in preserving a unique collection of printing artefacts.
Michael Handed out copies of the article for those interested to read.
MEETING CLOSED 8:45PM
NEXT SCHEDULE MEETING: 22nd November, 2007