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CICCC Update—7 February 2008 Meeting

Isohexane Loss

Terminals reported the loss of about 3.1 tonnes of the solvent Isohexane from Tank Number 34 in Plant B. Monthly stock monitoring of the tank showed a discrepancy between book stock and the actual stock level in the tank. After exhaustive testing it was found that an automatic pressure relief valve on the top of the tank was not functioning correctly. As a result, small amounts of vapour were systematically released to the combustor.

This is the first time in 5 years that Terminals have lost product from a tank in this way. Tanks are being closely monitored to ensure there are no further such problems.

EPA Report

The Committee welcomed back EPA’s Quentin Cooke, who had been seconded for a period to another EPA Region. Quentin’s report was particularly informative, and covered the following matters:

Recent spillsA spill of several thousand litres of diesel at a fuel outlet in McDonalds Road and Geelong Highway, Brooklyn, resulted when a mini-tanker apparently drove off with the filling hose still attached to the truck. Melbourne Water put out booms at Stony Creek Backwash to stop diesel entering the Yarra River.

At DP World, about one tonne of ethyl acrylate was spilt onto the ground, apparently from damage to a container. Ethyl acrylate has a very offensive smell at even tiny concentrations.

Prior to Christmas, a plume of chlorine like black gas was released from a fire at a storage site in Indwe Street, West Footscray, which caused a large impact and vegetation damage.

Quentin reported that each of these incidents had caused considerable community concern and outrage.

EREP – Energy Resource and Efficiency PlansThe largest two or three hundred energy, water and waste generators in Victoria will be required to prepare EREPs under a new EPA initiative. Companies will be required to implement those efficiency improvement projects that have a payback within three years. The focus goes beyond licensed premises, to major complexes like shopping centres and hospitals.

Corporate Licensing

EPA has introduced Corporate Licences for companies that have a number of sites, replacing individual site licences with a single combined licence. Goulburn Valley Water is the first company to be granted a corporate licence, and 26 individual licences were incorporated into one. The initiative brings a reduction in costs and red tape for businesses.

Planning application for tallow tanks

Terminals Pty Ltd is about to submit a planning permit application for three new tanks, to store tallow. While tallow is not a dangerous product (i.e. it is not flammable, toxic or carcinogenic), it does require some heating to keep it liquid. Tallow is not a new product for Terminals, and its existing EPA licence already allows for its storage.

MHF Licences

WorkCover has renewed Terminals’ Major Hazard Facility licence at both the Coode Island and Corio plants for five years.

Next meeting of the CICCC

The next meeting of the CICCC will be held on Thursday 10 April 2008 at the Maribyrnong Town Hall on the corner of Hyde and Napier Streets, Footscray at 6.30 pm. Any interested member of the community is welcome to attend the CICCC meetings.

Robin Saunders, Chair CICCC, 13 February 2008