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CICCC Update—10 August 2006 Meeting

Coode Island contamination clean-up

The last phase of the clean-up of contamination from Terminal’s lease area east of Mackenzie Road (now handed over to P&O Ports for container storage) is in progress. An EPA accredited auditor has submitted a CUTEP (Clean Up To The Extent Practicable) report to EPA. If EPA accepts the report, the auditor will then issue a Statement of Environmental Audit that will permit the intended use of the site and define continuing obligations such as the continuation of groundwater monitoring. George Horman, Terminals Pty Ltd Australian Manager, advised (and EPA confirmed) that the final review by EPA for the CUTEP is imminent. Terminals will still have ongoing responsibility for the site east of Mackenzie Road (now leased by P&O Ports) for monitoring and any further clean-up that the monitoring may show is necessary.

There is a small pocket where some residual chlorinated hydrocarbon contaminants have been identified, just north of where a large old benzene tank was located. It appears that this may be the result of old pipe-cleaning (pigging) operations, causing contamination in the groundwater under the cleaned up area.

George advised that the original testing of the east side for contamination, undertaken by NRM at a cost of $380,000, assessed the amount of contaminated ground at less than 20% of the site area, down to the water table (a depth of about one and a half metres). In fact the amount of contaminated material removed was almost double that, and the final cost was about $9.7 million, of which Burns Philp (a previous owner of Terminals Pty Ltd) was responsible for a contribution of $2.7 million.

Combustor operation

The combustor, where most chemical vapours produced in product transfer operations are burned, now operates at a temperature of 750°. In response to a query at the Committee meeting, Carlo Fasolino, Terminals Pty Ltd Victorian Manager, advised that although a further reduction in the operating temperature would use less gas (saving energy, cost and greenhouse gasses), the problem was that carbon monoxide levels would rise due to incomplete combustion. The committee requested that the levels of CO, SO2, NOx and any other identified emissions from the combustor be reported separately in the monthly report in the future. Advice from Terminals on the relative merits of reducing greenhouse gases versus increasing CO was also requested.

New excise arrangements

The Federal Government now requires customers of Terminals Pty Ltd to pay the 38 cents per litre excise on hydrocarbons that are capable of being used in fuel. Formerly companies only had to pay the excise if they declared the product as being used in fuels. Now the excise is taken at the storage stage, and Terminals’ customers can claim it back if they can demonstrate that the product has been used for something other than a fuel.

Centralisation of Terminals’ Engineering Division

George advised that due to unprecedented growth in Terminals business, the Engineering Division of Terminals Pty Ltd was being centralized in Melbourne. It is anticipated that additional staff will be sourced in the short term.

Next meeting of the CICCC

The next meeting of the CICCC will be held on Thursday 12 October 2006 at the Maribyrnong Town Hall on the corner of Hyde and Napier Streets, Footscray at 6.30 pm. Terminals will be presenting on the new security system at the plant.

Robin Saunders, Chair CICCC, 16 August 2006