COODE ISLAND COMMUNITY
Thursday, 13 May, 2010
ITEM 1. WELCOME BY THE CHAIR, APOLOGIES & CONFIRMATION OF DRAFT AGENDA
Robin Welcome to Cheryl Batagol.
Apologies: Carlo Fasolino, Sue Chatterton and Theo Pykoulas.
Confirmation of draft agenda – adopted
ITEM 2. DISCUSSION WITH CHERYL BATAGOL, CHAIRMAN EPA.
Robin In introducing Cheryl, Robin confirmed (and the meeting agreed) that the minutes would not repeat matters already minuted at the April TGCCC meeting, where Cheryl had made a detailed presentation. Those minutes will be available on line (www.tgccc.org) following their formal adoption at the June meeting of the TGCCC
Cheryl Thanked the committee for the opportunity of attending the meeting.
I was appointed as the Chair of the EPA in September 2009, I have a background in Waste management and at times I have been somewhat critical of the EPA having experienced a customer relationship with them. I was then offered the Position of the Chair of the EPA which I am very excited about.
My focus is on governance and we are currently on a transformation journey to become a modern and accountable regulatory authority. We are currently reviewing all of our internal and external processes.
One of the changes, reflecting a change in the governance approach, was the separation of Chair and CEO positions. John Merritt has been appointed as 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.
Cheryl explained the EPAŐs new approach and oversight to compliance and the Compliance Framework template which will be the basis of the EPA Business Plan. The EPA recognizes they need to change the way they operate and focus on helping organisations to comply with the Environmental Protection Act.
The focus is to change the culture and allow staff with the skills and knowledge to make decisions make them, which has not been encouraged in the past.
Robin Cheryl, can you provide us with your view of the importance of the CLCŐS?
Cheryl The community has the right to know and understand what is happening in their community.
Faye Most of what you have talked about is reactive. Is there a proactive side to the EPA?
Cheryl We do not look after the bio-diversity part of the act. However, we play a proactive role in the following:
á Pollution prevention;
á Resource efficiency and sustainability;
á Climate change & CO2 emissions
á The EREPs (Environmental Resource Efficiency Program) are a proactive tool applied particularly to companies that produce the most waste, or consume the most energy and water. We require audits of such companies, and seek recommendations for improvements. We require that companies undertake those improvements that pay for themselves within three years. EREP has saved $70 million so far in energy, water and resources;
á We are conducting major blitzes on illegal dumping, building wastes, tyres and asbestos;
á License reforms;
á We fund conferences and approximately one third of our budget is spent on science.
There has been criticism of EPA writing policy and regulating against it. The SEPPs are numerous and complex, and need simplification. DSE will auspice the development of this work.
Bro My particular interest as an environmental representative is in two-way accountability processes between the environmental movement and government. How do you build two way communications between the Authority, civil communities and clients? The EPA had processes with the environmental movement but seem to have moved away from them. I was also concerned that the move to accredited licences was pushing regulation onto companies and neighbours.
Cheryl We have community and individual liaison groups and the EPA has been accused of withdrawing from those processes. We are committed to developing a process that does engage with the broader community and civil society. I am also committed to developing performance measures and I recognize the need to find a way of engaging the community more broadly.
Bro I think there needs to be more structure and a focus on the environment.
Ian I have several points I would like to raise.
á It is important the EPA recognize good staff and keep them
á There needs to be some work done on variable responses provided by the EPA
á The previous waste exchange should be reintroduced
á There needs to be transparency in the organisation
Cheryl I note your first point.
Point two has, in part, driven the changes underway. There have been inconsistencies and I recognise there needs to be more consistency. If we get to a point where we canŐt take issues any further then we should be able to admit that and say that.
IŐm not sure that the EPA ran the waste exchange: the second version was run by Ecorecycle, but your point is noted.
Regarding transparency, I recognise the need for change and where we can we should err on the side of transparency. Except where we are bound by the FOI and Commercial in Confidence we should be able to provide you, the community, with not just your requests but regularly disclose regulatory and compliance information.
George Just to add another perspective I think that many people have lost interest and there has been a shift in perspective. People now believe there has been an element of change and unless there is a major incident like Longford people do not appear as concerned.
Robin and Deborah agreed.
Ian Referred to the need for commitments given in public to be followed through. Stated that his experience was that EPAŐs performance on openness was considerably better that WorkSafeŐs, and wished Cheryl to be aware of that.
Faye I think it would be advantageous for the EPA to spend more time promoting their role and what they do via the media.
Cheryl ItŐs a good point Faye, however, we currently provide the air pollution readings in the written media on a daily basis. I donŐt know that the radio media would be interested in interviewing us regularly.
Bro Interviews trap politicians, however, I do not believe the EPA have done as well as they could have. Sought advice on the timetable for consultation on the Compliance Reform.
Cheryl There will be a report to the Minister by June 30th, and following that a broad consultation program.
Bro EPA is starting from a low base, and needs to build relationships. It is critical to involve people early in any consultation process.
Peter There is also some value in sharing experiences. The EPA should share information among their clients. This would help with lessons learnt, for example Transpacific and their current issues with Phenol waste.
Cheryl We do run Hazwaste seminars in which Industry come together and share their problems and solutions.
George Perhaps Peter could make a presentation at the seminar.
Michael Cheryl I am pleased you came tonight. If the situation occurred where EPA has to put government in its place, that would be interesting.
Cheryl Thank you for the opportunity and I can assure you the EPA has and will regulate and I can guarantee we will play an even hand. I have delegated my powers under the Act but I still oversee the decisions made and I ensure they are correct.
Robin Thank you for coming Cheryl, it was very worthwhile.
Kerry Presented the EPA Report, and offered her apology as she had another engagement.
ITEM 3. CONFIRM DRAFT MINUTES FOR THE MEETING ON 18 MARCH 2010, AND REVIEW ACTION ITEM LIST
George I have some concerns regarding the previous minutes and the minutes for this meeting. If Ian wishes to raise items in meetings he needs to be prepared to provide names and examples. I do not want to be party to issues raised without evidence. ItŐs an embarrassment to the committee.
Deborah I would have to agree.
Ian Just looking through the minutes I cannot believe I only said two things at the last meeting.
Robin Draft Minutes of the 18th March, 2010 adopted without change.
12/09-5 Carlo to liaise with WorkSafe and enquire if the Buncefield vapor cloud explosion scenarios need to be included in future reviews of the Safety Case. –
George Yes, there will be a number of matters that arise out of the Buncefield inquiry that will be reflected in our Safety Case review.
Ian Ian stated that the UK HSE had advised in writing that a petrol UVCE (Unconfined Vapour Cloud Explosion) was not considered to be possible, but in fact there had been four previous such incidents. He noted that some 10% butane in the UK to make it easier to start cars in cold weather,
George Stated that when acrylonitrile was stored at Terminals Coode facility, the possibility of an UVCE was a significant risk on a cold night.
Deborah What would happen if something happened at Coode at night and the person on call couldn't be roused for some reason?
George The site is not manned at night, though there is a sophisticated video monitoring system. The likelihood of a UVCE starting at night when there is no activity at the facility is low. If the computer management system detected a fault, Terminals staff would be called to take action.
3/10-1 EPA to advise if Terminals Annual Report on
the Coode Island facility is available to the CICCC following its receipt from
The item should properly seek advice from EPA relating to their comfort with Terminals providing the signed report to EPA directly to the community at the same time. This matter is further reported under Item 5 below.
ITEM 5. 2009 Annual Report
Carlo had advised that the report was not yet available.
George Stated that the issue had arisen with the TGCCC. At Coode, additional information is added to the EPA Annual Report before it is provided to the CICCC. He would ask Carlo to bring both the Annual Report to EPA and the Annual Report to the Community to the next meeting, so that the differences could be better understood, and a decision made.
Carlo to bring both forms of Annual Report to the August meeting for discussion and decision.
ITEM 4. REPORTS FROM AGENCIES AND TERMINALS
TERMINALS PTY LTD
Peter Went through the Operations Report covering such topics as Shipping, Road Transport, Injuries and explained the incidents.
ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION AUTHORITY
EPA Activity Report March- May 2010 tabled as reported above.
CITY OF MARIBRYNONG
Robin Theo asked me to report as follows:
Theo advises that VCAT has heard the appeal by the applicant against City of MaribyrnongŐs failure to make a decision on the planning permit application at Lot B 200 Stephen St, Yarraville (for a 66 unit residential development approximately 200 metres from the Mobil Oil Yarraville facility), and ordered that the permit be refused.
ITEM 6 OTHER BUSINESS
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. I want to alert you all to the increased significance and importance I place on the annual reports, particularly with the changes being made to licence reform, so that we as a committee do not become merely reactive to day-to-day issues, but also look at the bigger picture.
Bro Remarked that small companies need prescriptive licences. Lots of companies donŐt understand their licences. There are big changes occurring at EPA, and some things (such as the EPA knowledge base) are falling through the cracks
Ian We didnŐt discuss the ongoing representation by EPA at CICCC and the possibility of a technical presence.
Robin to ring Kerry Murphy about future arrangements for EPA representation at CICCC meetings.
NEXT SCHEDULED MEETINGS:
Proposed meetings for 2010 –19 August & 2 December, 2010
MEETING CLOSED 9:30 PM