CICCC Update—29 May 2000 Meeting
Greenpeace is strongly opposed to incineration, even more so in the light of recent US EPA findings on the hazards of dioxin exposure, the CICCC was told at its meeting on 29 May 2000.
In response to this concern, Peter Reddie, General Manager of Terminals Pty Ltd, said “Dioxins and furans will not be emitted from the proposed combustion systems. Gases (vapours) to be handled by the combustion system will not contain chlorine.” Peter tabled his reply to Greenpeace, which outlined a range of technologies that would be used to control vapour emissions from the proposed plant upgrade. “We intend to use a combination of vapour return, combustion, internal floating roofs, packed bed scrubbers, condensation and activated carbon bed absorption” said Mr Reddie.
A refreshing new look at overseas practice by Scott Maloney of the Victorian EPA demonstrated the viability of different approaches to vapour emission control. Scott gave an excellent review of bulk liquid terminals he had recently visited in USA and Europe. While combustion was commonly used in terminals in USA, activated carbon beds were preferred in Europe. Scott told the Committee that licence conditions were not as stringent overseas as they were in Victoria. Scott’s investigations had focussed on the technology used, and did not include a review of community concerns or licence breaches at the overseas plants he had visited.
Jim Clements, Manager, EPA Western Region, told the Committee that combustion is one option for treatment of general chemical vapours, and that further information is required for full assessment. “EPA’s view is that possible alternative options are available, and EPA has requested Terminals to further consider options for vapour recovery of benzene.” Jim reminded the Committee of the Government’s requirement that the facility must meet “the highest possible standards of environmental responsibility”.
EPA is moving towards more formal consideration of greenhouse gases with its State Environment Protection Policies, and has requested that Terminals provide information on greenhouse gases and energy efficiency.
The Committee resolved to write to EPA, requesting that EPA clarify verbal advice they gave to the Committee, which indicated that a Works Approval application can contain viable and practical options, providing the proponent nominates a preferred option.
Terminals made a presentation to the Committee which outlined the predicted reduction in vapour emissions which the upgrade would achieve. While all chemicals handled would have vapour emissions reduced, the improvement would be greatest for acrylates and benzene. These chemicals constitute the most serious vapour emission problems from the existing plant.
Terminals expect to lodge their Works Approval application by mid June. EPA anticipates advertising it for public comment for 21 days in July, after they have scrutinised its adequacy. It is likely that EPA will hold a conference of submitters in mid to late August, with an independent chair.
The CICCC has rescheduled its public forum at the Maribyrnong Town Hall to Thursday 29 June at 7:00 pm. Terminals will present its proposal at the forum, and regulators (EPA, WorkCover, Emergency Services and Councils) will be present to advise on their procedures and requirements. Presenters will then respond to questions and comments from the public.
The next CICCC meeting will be held on Thursday 15 June. Members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting at the Maribyrnong Town Hall on the corner of Hyde and Napier Streets, Footscray at 6.30pm.
Robin Saunders, Chair CICCC, 30 May, 2000