COODE ISLAND COMMUNITY
Thursday, 18th March, 2010
ITEM 1. WELCOME BY THE CHAIR, APOLOGIES & CONFIRMATION OF DRAFT AGENDA
Robin Welcome to Kerry and Jason.
Apologies: George Horman, Carlo Fasolino and Bro Sheffield-Brotherton whom is currently making a presentation on the Copenhagen Climate Change talks.
Confirmation of draft agenda – adopted
ITEM 2. LICENCE REFORM & CICCC INPUT (EPA: Jason Borg, Acting Director business Development).
Jason Thanked the committee for the opportunity of attending the meeting.
Part of my role is to oversee license reform as the EPA goes through very major changes right from the top.
At this point Anthea Cannon from the Leader Newspaper entered the meeting.
Robin Welcomed Anthea and asked if any of the parties had any objections or concerns having the press in attendance.
No concerns from the committee were expressed.
Jason One of the changes, reflecting a change in the governance approach, was the separation of Chair and CEO positions. Chair is Cheryl Batagol and John Merritt is the CEO of the EPA. The Chair is independent of the day to day running of the organization and will bring a higher level of accountability onto the EPA.
Big change in focus of the EPA. EPA wants to be transparent, consistent and reconnecting with the community. The number one mandate is to focus environmental outcomes.
The EPA was originally set up to deal with gross environmental issues. Gross air pollution was the context with which EPA was brought into being. EPA was very rigid and put in a lot of restrictions on how the industries ran their business.
Now focus has changed to local pollution caused by individual entities or small groups of businesses, overuse of resources and conflicts arising from encroachment of people living next to industry. Some of the changes the EPA has overseen to adapt to these new requirements are:
§ changed regulations introduced the EREP program (Environmental Resource Efficiency Program) which has now been running for a couple of years.
§ hazardous waste regulations and secondary use of waste;
§ the introduction of corporate licencing; and
§ a review of scheduled premises regulations.
We are reforming our approach to licensing. Approximately 750 licensed sites are grouped by sector (as per Scheduled Premises Regulations). To assist with the reform we are viewing our licencees in a couple of ways, low complexity or high complexity. The fundamentals apply for both groups allowing for consistency across all sectors. Standard conditions will apply to all industry. More complex sites may have conditions in licences that may be driven by community requirements. EPA will sit down with community representatives and the company when it comes time to issue draft licences. The aim of licence conditions will be consistency, outcome focus and standardization.
One other change is that an EIP as part of the licence in general will no longer exist (except for Accredited Licences). The outcome will be mandated by the license.
Another aspect is annual reporting of compliance, signed by the Company CEO, and completed by September for the previous financial year. If there is non-compliance, the company will be expected to explain. Onus of compliance sits with the owners of the business. Licenses will be publicly available on website.
We have initially rolled out approximately 200 licences, which we have deemed do not require community consultation — many of the other more “complex” licences will require community consultation. While EIPs will not be a requirement of the licence, they will still be open to audit. EPA will no longer approve EIPs.
Deborah Isn’t that placing a great deal of trust in the company?
Jason The company is still required to report any non compliance to the EPA as they were in the past. The requirement to report non-compliances has not changed.
Documents that are linked to license reform are on the EPA website.
1. Licence Management Guidelines
2. License Assessment Guidelines
3. Annual Performance Statement Guidelines
Comment on these documents is open until 17 April 2010.
The approach EPA is taking towards compliance is risk based. Previously we considered risk to the environment. Now we are adding the risk to non-compliance — such as past performance, quality of management system, attitude of company, etc.
More officers will be doing compliance work, drops in’s at sites, and desk top work. EPA has an Annual Compliance Plan that involves set compliance activities as well as random compliance inspections and targeted compliance campaigns. We are reviewing the way in which the EPA handle pollution response calls. It is great that the community uses the pollution response number and the EPA will be changing their response to ensure more feedback is given to the person who has called in. Reform has just commenced in this area.
75% of licenses are to be reformed by June then 100% by the end of the year, reformed and issued.
Deborah Just a general observation. If you are relying on companies to report their misdemeanors’ what is to stop them not reporting?
Jason There is no change to the current situation. They are required to do so under the act. They are obliged by law to advise of any non compliance.
Michael Is it strong enough?
Jason Having a better compliance program will hold them more accountable. We expect companies to have a management plan to reduce their non-compliance.
Andrea Do the penalties go up as the non compliances increase?
Jason There will be a more structured escalation to the enforcement action. As an example, depending on the actual situation a company may receive a notice, then a PIN, and then potentially court action. We will look at the reason why they did not comply.
Robin There was an incident with Terminals at Geelong where there was a license limit of a certain amount that could be discharged. Terminals knew that their existing equipment would be exceeding the license limits due to a significant increase in throughput. EPA more or less said “we understand why and approve of your proposed actions to improve the situation”. The license breach was not notified to the community until a year later, which caused some loss of trust by the community in both the company and in EPA. How would that be handled under the new EPA regime?
Jason Change in focus. We would need to be informed of the non compliance. EPA would take some ownership of that issue. EPA should have required a license amendment.
Kerry A 30A variation to a licence under the Act allows the EPA to have an interim approval change to the license. License reform won’t change emissions or changes to things companies have to do. They may need to have a works approval before that.
Ian How did the community find out?
Robin The community found out through the annual report.
Presently company annual reports go first to EPA, and are for the calendar year. Carlo’s advice is that the 2009 Coode Island report had been submitted to the EPA. What is going to be the norm for these reports in the future? Will they be made public at the same time as going to the EPA?
EPA to report on whether they will make these reports public at the same time as given to EPA.
Ian Expressed concern whether the desired level of openness from EPA would be achieved. Ian cited John Merritt’s commitment at a conference to working towards making Safety Cases available to the public, and lack of progress on the matter.
There has been a spate of incidents in the Western suburbs.
Kerry John Merritt has put the industry in the western suburbs, particularly in the Brooklyn area on notice. Made it very clear that there will be no second chances.
Robin There can be a real dilemma for EPA being tough on pollution and avoiding industry leave the state.
Deborah Can you give an example of how a provision of an EIP now becomes an outcome?
Jason Depends if the EIP was directing a company to do something. Being an accredited license is different as EIPs are still required as part of being an accredited licencee. In instances where e require then to do something (other than achieve an outcome), the company will be given a notice to carry out that work.
Kerry The license Coode has already is a very modern license. Most modern day companies included things that weren’t applicable to the EPA. EIP’s are still great catalysts to getting community involvement.
Deborah If you specify in EIP conditions it makes the company more likely to take responsibility.
Jason Companies will still be required to have a management and monitoring system to demonstrate that they can and do comply with their licence.
Faye When risk is growing to what level will you let it go. At what point do you weigh a company is a failing company and the environmental risk is greater.
Jason Previously EPA looked at predominantly environmental risk. Now risk of non-compliance will also be taken into account to inform the compliance “risk”. The higher the risk rating the higher the attention they receive from the EPA. Compliance inspection verifies that the company is complying with license.
Ian I encourage companies to make public the actions proposed to achieve objectives in an Environment Action Plan. Here the CICCC model is working well.
Faye When will the company be too high a risk?
Jason There will be a set escalation on risk. The likelihood of failure, severity, etc based on risk and performance. The company still has to be able to demonstrate compliance for example preventative maintenance program, ground water monitoring. Will have to show EPA how they prove compliance.
Robin So EPA will put it on the company to meet a performance standard. EPA will keep pushing the company until EPA gets a satisfactory answer.
Deborah What concerns me is that it would be easy for government to say that because we have now put onus on businesses there will be less need for staff at the EPA.
Jason Definitely not. We will have more field officers to support our reformed compliance program to ensure greater transparency and outcomes.
Col The ten year inspection reports are conducted by an external source. Water testing again sent to an independent 3rd party source.
Peter Regarding the Geelong incident Geelong worked in partnership with the EPA. We did calculation and moved straight away to notify EPA and EPA worked alongside Terminals.
Andrea With those new risk categories would a company cutting down some of its site staff as well as production, would that company’s risk be higher?
Jason The EPA would monitor risk based on the activities being conducted at that site.
Kerry This site is one of our more complex sites. We would not be moving on this license until June/July 2010. I have asked Cheryl Batagol to attend the next CICCC meeting.
Robin Noted that the CICCC had invited Cheryl to attend a meeting when it wrote to her congratulating her on her appointment. At the December meeting the matter of her invitation to a specific meeting was addressed, and the Chair contacted her personal assistant in late December with the result that the May 2010 meeting of CICCC was penciled in her diary. That date was confirmed a few days ago.
How much effort does EPA put into monitoring and how much are companies required to use approved auditors (as is the case with accredited licences).
Jason Our plan at this stage is to not use a mandatory auditor.
Peter I think it is good to use an external auditor.
Robin Thanked Jason for attending.
ITEM 3. CONFIRM DRAFT MINUTES FOR THE MEETING ON 10 DECEMBER 2009, AND REVIEW ACTION ITEM LIST
Robin Draft Minutes of the 10th December, 2009 adopted without change.
09/07-2 DP World has been charged with causing air pollution – Completed 10/12/09
06/08-1 PoMC to send results of 2006 – 2008 groundwater testing.
Robin I feel we are unlikely to hear any thing more on the item so therefore it should just be deleted from the Action Summary Sheet.
09/09-2 Copy of EPA license once it has been approved to be uploaded onto the CICCC website. We will get to that later as Carlo has given me a hard copy and will in the next few days he will scan and I will circulate and put on website – Completed 14/12/09
12/09-1 Robin to send Terminals letter to EPA re Combustor Low Fire at Night, and the Preheating Liquid injection to the Combustor to CICCC members – Completed 27/12/09
12/09-2 Kerry to send Robin a copy of the EPA structure electronically – Completed 14/12/09
12/09-3 Kerry to clarify what is meant by “the Authority” – please refer to EPA report given out at the 18-3-10 meeting for explanation. Item completed 18 March 2010
12/09-4 Robin to advise the Advisory Committee reviewing Planning controls for Victorian Ports of the interest of the CICCC in making submission – Completed 14/12/09
12/09-5 Carlo to liaise with WorkSafe and enquire if the Buncefield vapor cloud explosion scenario need to be included in future reviews of the Safety Case.
12/09-6 Robin to write to PoMC expressing concern that community members were turned away from Operation Island – Completed 21/12/09
ITEM 4. REPORTS FROM AGENCIES AND TERMINALS
TERMINALS PTY LTD
Col Went through the Operations Report covering such topics as Shipping, Road Transport, Injuries and explained the incidents.
ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION AUTHORITY
Kerry Handed out Activity Report December 2009 – March 2010 (See Attachment)
Action item from previous meeting was to clarify what is meant by “the Authority”. Explanation given in Activity Report section “Action Items for EPA” Section C). In essence, “the Authority” is the Chairman.
Kerry to send a copy of the Activity Report December 2009 – March 2010 to Robin via email.
CITY OF MARIBYRNONG
Theo Handed out “Project Update 8” regarding the Emergency Alert and maps from the SES showing the extent of the damaged caused by the hail storm.
Deborah Maribyrnong City Council was instrumental in instigating the Emergency Alert System and in all the papers there was no mention of this.
Theo The VCAT appeal Lot B 200 Steven Street near Mobil tank farm is still at VCAT. Will keep you updated as I find out more.
ITEM 5 OTHER BUSINESS
Kerry As Cheryl is to attend the next meeting is there any other information you wish to have brought to the meeting?
Faye risk compliance – personnel and wider community
Robin The issue with regards to the Annual Reports that Terminals issue.
Reports come through slowly. We need to have a careful look at those reports as it is very much part of our business. It is incumbent on us as a committee to look at those reports. Would like the reports issued to committee at the same time as they as issued to the EPA. Just to alert you all to the increased significance and importance of the annual reports.
Put item on Agenda for next meeting to have annual report circulated one month prior to next meeting. Have someone from Terminals present it and followed by discussion.
NEXT SCHEDULED MEETINGS:
Proposed meetings for 2010 – 13 May, 19 August, 18 November, 2010
MEETING CLOSED 8:40 PM
ATTACHMENT EPA ACTIVITY REPORT December 2009 – march 2010
Terminals Pty.Ltd - coode island
cLIENT RELATIONSHIP MANAGER: Marc cassanet
§ Regular meetings/phone conversations as part of normal industry client manager role
§ No items to report
pOLLUTION iNCIDENTS AND rEPORTS
Community Reports to EPA Pollution Watch for Terminals Coode Island
§ Dec 2009 – March 2010 = 0 community reports
ACTION ITEMS FOR EPA
A) EPA presentation on licence reform – Jason Borg, A/Director Business development attending meeting 18/03/10
B) Kerry to send Robin a copy of the structure electronically – completed
C) Kerry to clarify what is meant by “the Authority
Part II S5 (1) There is established by this Act and Authority by the name of the Environment Protection Authority
S6(1) The Authority shall consist of one member appointed as chairman by the Governor in Council
S13 (1) Lists powers and duties of the authority
The Authority is an individual, the Chairman, the primary delegate for administering the EP Act and all regulations and orders made under it. EPA has a weekly Authority Meeting in which key issues are discussed with a view to assisting the Chairman in making decisions as the Authority.
OTHER LOCAL AND EPA NEWS
EPA Chief Executive
John Merritt has been appointed into the Chief Executive position and commenced in February 2010
Spill at P&O Coode Island
09/03/2010 – EPA attended chemical spill of tartaric peroxy acid biocide at the P&O premises (food additive). 3 drums had pressurised and were leaking. P&O implemented containment protocols, all leakage was contained and neutralised, no offsite effects occurred. MFB attended and blocked off road. Chemsal was engaged by P&O to dispose of leaking drums. EPA investigated incident.
Petrol leak - Mobil Refinery Altona
At approx 11.45pm Monday 8 February, Mobil detected a leak in an unleaded petrol tank at Altona Refinery. EPA has issued a clean up notice for any soil or groundwater pollution and is investigating the incident.
SITA Brooklyn prosecution
SITA Australia Pty Ltd was found guilty of breaching their licence by allowing offensive odour to discharge beyond the boundary of their Brooklyn composting facility in September 2008.
SITA was ordered to pay $40,000 to fund a Brooklyn Environmental and Educational Sustainability Program run by Hobsons Bay City Council.