CICCC Update—13 July 2000 Meeting
At the 13 July 2000 meeting the committee was advised that the Works Approval application was still before the EPA pending their acceptance. “The EPA have asked for additional information before they can accept the application and commence the formal approvals process which will include an advertised 21 day period for public comment” reported George Horman, Victorian Manager for Terminals Pty Ltd. Terminals indicated that copies of the application would be available through the company’s web site. The committee asked for hard copies to be available for each committee member and in municipal libraries in region. The committee also asked for a press release giving the earliest possible notification of the exact timing of the public comment period.
Terminals clarified that the Works Approval application covers both the redevelopment of the BP site (Stage 1), and the upgrading of the other two existing sites west of Mackenzie Road (Stages 2 and 3). The CICCC sought additional briefing from Terminals on Stages 2 and 3, and a special meeting has been set on 27 July for the briefing, and to catch up on a backlog of other items.
The CICCC commended Terminals for its efforts in briefing the Committee prior to them submitting the Works Approval application for the upgrade. “Terminals has set a new standard for consultation in relation to EPA approval procedures.” said Peter Brotherton of the Combined Environmental Groups. “Pre-application consultation should be mandatory for all major projects.” he added. The Committee’s next major task is to prepare its submission on the Works Approval application. . The committee however expressed its dissatisfaction with the statutory provisions for public comment under WorkCover and Planning approvals processes.
George Horman made a presentation to the Committee on the classification of hazardous zones within the Coode Island storage facility. Zone 0 (typically inside tanks) denote areas where explosive gases are present continuously. Zone 1 (typically in the immediate vicinity of tank vent and truck filling) denote areas where explosive gases are likely to occur in normal operations. Zone 2 (typically some distance from tanks) denote areas where explosive gases are not likely to occur in normal operations, and if they do, only for a short period. The upgrade at Coode Island will result in the footprint of Zones 1 and 2 being greatly reduced. Ignition sources, such as the proposed combustors, will be separated from Zone 2 areas by at least 10 metres. CICCC sought assurance from Terminals that adequate safety measures such as additional gas detectors and vapour barrier wall would be incorporated into the detailed design. Terminals gave an assurance that suitable “rare event” mitigation measures would be incorporated into the upgrade.
In response to a request from the CICCC, Peter Reddie presented Terminals’ review of the option of relocating propylene oxide storage to its Geelong site. Terminals’ view was that removal of propylene oxide from Coode Island had little effect on the risk contours for the facility, and that the option had little merit. It would cost 25%–40% extra, involve 60 kilometres extra trip length for every road tanker load, limit the use of the Geelong site for expansion, and conflict with Government decisions already made for Coode Island. The Terminals’ view was vigorously debated, and clarification on several issues has been sought.
The Committee adopted a statement of principles in relation to the confidentiality of material submitted to CICCC. The principles set an expectation that all members of the Committee will be committed to openness, and responsible to fairly represent information presented at the Committee (see the full text on the CICCC web site at www.ciccc.org)
Faye Simpson raised a concern that operators (and managers) at Coode Island might have their performance impaired by factors such as long working hours, physical discomfort, loss of sleep, and the effect of fugitive emissions on their cognitive ability. Peter Reddie agreed to investigate measures to address this concern.
DHS has published a report on the “Burden of Disease Study—morbidity” which is available on the web at: www.dhs.vic.gov.au/phb/9909065/foreword.htm
WorkCover is preparing new Dangerous Goods (Storage and Handling) Regulations. CICCC has been invited to a briefing on 19 July, and will be strongly represented.
The next CICCC meeting will be held on Thursday 27 July. 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, 17 July 2000