COODE ISLAND COMMUNITY CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE
Thursday 13 April 2000
Robert Clarke – National Union of Workers
Tess Demidiuk (for Marg Leser)
Murray Frank (Department of Human Services)
Jarrod Edwards – Major Hazards Unit, WorkCover
ITEM 1. WELCOME BY THE CHAIR
The chairperson welcomed the committee and others in attendance including
- Tess Demidiuk
- Robert Clarke who works for Terminals and is a member and representative
from the National Union of Workers
ITEM 2. APOLOGIES
Frank Fichera, Cathy Aktypis, Peter Brotherton and Sarah Coward.
ITEM 3. CONFIRMATION OF AGENDA
There were a number of additions to Other Business
- Ian Swann to report on the PACIA’s comments regarding the public availability of their Safety Cases.
- WorkCover Health and Safety Week. 4 May 2000.
- Peter Reddie’s Concerns Regarding the Quality of Communication via the Minutes on the Web Site
- The Manchester Agreement (MA)
ITEM 4. Minutes of the Previous Meeting
The following Amendements were made
- Doug Buchanan should be listed as present at the meeting
- Item 6 in the paragraph beginning ‘ Gavin was asked about spills from containers….’. The last sentence of the paragraph to be removed and replaced with
Matthew said that restricted goods (“goods too dangerous to be moved”) could not be handled through P & O Ports.
- Item 7 in the paragraph beginning ‘ Ian T said that in risk assessment….’. The terms should read as
- Item 8 in the paragraph beginning ‘ Trevor and Gavin are presently writing the…’. There should be a gap left before this paragraph indicating that it is a separate point to that above which lists the government departments.
- Item 11
The Department of Human Services has tabled an Attachment which clarifies their understanding of the outcome of the meeting.
See the attachment at the conclusion of these minutes.
- Item 12 the paragraph beginning George said he could not recall should read
Delete ACTION George to check with Peter for his comment on this matter.
Add to text of paragraph above: “Subject to confirming information on the original Manchester Agreement, Terminals are prepared to consider a similar agreement.”
4.1 Coode Island Committee Update
Copies of the media release following the meeting of 23 March have been circulated.
4.2CICCC Web site Update
With regard to changing the domain name for our web site, Robin said that David James had made the following points
- Changing the name will not increase the likelihood that the site will be visited.
- A new domain name will cost us $600.
- It will be more readily picked up by the Search Engines when it has received more ‘hits’ from the public, so
- He suggests that we all make www.ciccc.com the home page on our computers, so that the web page receives a hit every time we connect to the web.
ACTION. The CICCC will follow David’s advice and review the situation again in
There has been a new section added called ‘Whats New’
Executive summaries of all the reports except one have been posted.
This month several students from Deakin University were using it as a resource.
It is receiving about 70 hits per week.
4.3 Text from EMS/C for the Website.
The sub committee have signed off on the content, but Marg has not yet provided the text for the web site.
ACTION. George will follow up on this and bring the text to the next CICCC
meeting for ratification.
4.4 Flier for the Community Forum on 2 May.
The Kensington Association proposed Emergency Management forum has been cancelled due to other priorities.
5.1.Hobsons Bay Community Against Toxic Sites letter to WorkCover dated 3 April 2000 (which supported the public availability of Safety Cases)
See attachment 1
See attachment 1
5.2 CICCC letter to WorkCover 30 March 2000
See attachment 2.
Matthew said that WorkCover will carefully consider CICCC concerns.
This item was incorrectly listed. The presentation by MPC will occur at the meeting on 27 April 2000.
ITEM 7. The Terminals Facility Upgrade – background briefing.
George began by saying that the new plans which have been developed by Terminals, are within the guidelines of the new legislation (Major Hazardous Facility Regulations) which cover the safety management for all Hazardous Sites in Victoria. They encompass Worlds Best Practice technology.
Copies of the full report are in the CICCC library and are available from Ian Gibson at the City of Maribyrnong Council buildings in Footscray. There will also be copy of tonight’s presentation posted on the web as an attachment to the minutes for tonight’s meeting.
ACTION. Peter Reddie to arrange the above.
See Attachment 4. Terminals Report on Investigation into Environmental Control Systems.
The upgrading plan proposals were presented to EPA in a report, September 1999. The contents of the report include changes to the following facilities
- Spill control
- Air emissions
- Storm water management
- Waste minimisation
There have been many people working on this plan. They include a number of engineers.
- Carlo Fasolino (TPL) – EPA Works approval
- Wayne Jarman (TPL) – Preliminary design
- George Horman (TPL) – Risk Analysis
- Mark Cahill (GHD) – Engineering design
- Frank Fleer (AWN) – Environmental consultant
- Frank Sachinidis (CEC) – Process design
7.1 Tank Bunds
The sides and bases are mainly earthen and so they absorb anything that is spilt. On site tanks contain all the material stored by Terminals at Coode Island.
The Future Plan
All bund walls to be concrete and floors to be asphalt so that the liquid is held and will not absorb. A plastic liner will also go under the tank floor so there will not be any leaks to the ground water. Ground water will continue to be tested yearly.
The tanks will have to be emptied and jacked up before this work can proceed.
7.2 Storm Water
A series of valves and pipes feed the storm water into a treatment plant (built in the 1970’s). It then goes through the following treatment
- Oil skimmer
- Solids separator
and is then released into the Maribyrnong River.
The Future Plan
Remove all the underground piping system and move it to above ground so that it can be clearly monitored. The storm water will be held in the bunds and then go into a sump and a water holding tank.
The water holding tank can hold 10 – 20 minutes of rainfall before flowing off the site. It will be manually pumped from this tank so that none can be accidentally released before adequate treatment. Before being pumped away it will be tested and treated appropriately in corrugated plate interceptor. It will then be emptied into the Maribyrnong River.
Pumps are in defined areas with spill containment. Pumps tend to leak sometimes.
The Future Plan.
The pumps will be housed together as much as possible and will have overhead roofs and bunds surrounding the pump areas. Any spills will automatically drain to the contaminated water holding tank. Water from these tanks will be sent to the sewer or offsite for treatment.
Incompatible materials will not go through the same pig areas so there is no possibility of non-compatible materials mixing. (Regulations state that incompatible materials can not be discharged from a ship at the same time and there are set protocols practised for the discharging of all materials on the site).
There will be far less joining and rejoining of lines.
The most dangerous materials have dedicated continuous lines with no breaks and dedicated handling systems.
7.4 Truck Loading
Sometimes leaks and spills occur during these operations. Trucks are loaded through an overhead gantry.
The Future Plan.
The truck loading area will be covered with a roof. It will be separate from other areas on the site and surrounded by humps to contain any spills. The road drainage system will be separate to other drainage systems. The spills will be drained into a small tank well away from the trucks (as occurs at the Geelong site).
Hazardous chemicals will be loaded from the bottom of the trucks only.
7.5 Waste Minimisation
7.5.1 The changer-pit has many lines, pipes, and hoses.
7.5.2 It is not possible to clean out pipes all the way to the tank after filling tanks from the ships. So some material is wasted by cleaning (flushing) lines.
Samples for testing before unloading from the ships go into drums and so spills can occur and the sample usually goes to waste.
7.5.3 When a tanks contents are changed over the last remaining amount of solution is quite substantial and is lost to waste.
The Future Plans
7.5.1 A roof will cover the changer pit. The pipes and hoses in the changer pit will be replaced with swinging double-jointed arms.
7.5.2 Wharf lines will push the last amounts of liquid through and into a storage tank so it can be used and not wasted.
At the base of each tank where the pipes enter will be a concrete basin to collect any minor spills that can be mopped up.
All tank valves for truck loading will be automatically operated. There will be non-return valves on tank inlet lines.
7.5.3 Samples from ships will go into a sample tank for testing before unloading. The sample can also be fed through to the storage tank so it too can be used.
The last remaining amount of material in a tank can be substantially reduced to an amount of less than 50 litres because stripping lines will be used.
7.6 Air Emissions
Small tanks of 4.5 thousand litres of waste from carbon beds are emptied twice week. They are sent out to be burnt.
The Future Plans
Reduce the amount of emission to the atmosphere by using two methods
1.Minimisation – mainly utilising vapour returns with some floating roof technologies. Rubber bladders as floating roofs are not suitable for the chemical solvents handled by Terminals. Vapour returns have no emissions when used efficiently for shipping and trucking. However dedicated road tankers are required and there are not very many in service.
2.Collect and Treat . ( The first three are most favoured for the Coode Island site). They are
- Carbon Absorption. This is not used very much overseas. The carbon absorbs the vapours from tanks. They are then removed by vacuum or steam and disposed of. The carbon can then be re used for more absorption.
The last 20 years has resulted in improved designs of carbon beds. There is still a large volume of waste material to handle as only 2-3% is actual waste material in water. Lots of gas is required to burn off the water.
- Combustors. These are used widely over seas. Less gas is used than in the carbon absorption method because small amounts of waste material are burnt without the large water load needing to be burnt. When the vapours are incinerated there will not be any other wastes or heavy metals. The materials given off will be determined before incineration occurs so that emission levels will be carefully calculated.
The emissions will be far less than is occurring presently with the use of scrubbers and carbon beds.
- Liquid Scrubbers. Vapours are mixed with liquid. It can be used for Acrylate and Prop Oxide and some other products.
- Cryogenics. Gases are turned to liquid with the use of nitrogen. It can be problematic.
- Membranes. These absorb things in one direction only. This would be difficult technology to use because Terminals have numerous chemicals. It is very expensive.
- Bio Filtration. Not suitable.
- Gas Engines. Amount and type of waste does not follow a pattern, making planned effective burning as a power source difficult.
Other Points Raised
- There are no heavy metals stored at the Coode Island facility
- Combustors will also be used for the production of water on the site.
- Waste material now goes to Scori Pty Ltd who send it to cement kilns in Geelong for burning as fuel. They are closing down and so waste material will be sent to Sydney.
- Concern was stated for any potential increase in air emissions in the area.
George said that the developments will result in a decreasing of air emissions from the Coode Island facility. The carbon beds presently in use are not meeting the EPA limits for air emissions.
- The issue of all the sites in the metropolitan area (about 20) sharing the use of one stack was discussed.
George said that large stacks were not required as the facility was more like a large oven in shape. The max height is about 40 feet. There would also be a backup system available on site.
Peter Reddie said the principal of sharing such facilities was good, however they require excellent management. Terminals prefer to be in control of their own waste disposal. Each company tends to deal with its own specific range of materials that have their own specific management requirements.
- Air emission testing requirements would be determined as part of the EPA’s Works Approval and Licencing process. Scott said that there are clear air quality standards that are required to be met. Part of the Works Approval application and assessment process includes predicting expected ground level concentrations using a computer package that takes into consideration the worst possible conditions, so that safe levels can be met.
George said that the vapours being released will be pure chemicals and so they will be easily measured. Benzene is the chemical of largest volume on site.
- Ian Swann said that combustion equipment is fully tested before instalment so that emissions, are fully predicted for all burns. Therefore there is no need for continuos monitoring.
CICCC members asked what happens as the efficiency of the equipment declines with age.
The answer was that the EPA would continue to assess these matters through the site License and regular Monitoring Programs.
Under the Works Approval and License, EPA will require Terminals to make sure that the temperature and oxygen mixes are operating efficiently. They also assess things like the requirements for continuous monitoring, the path of any emission plumes and the emission mixes. The EPA will wait to see what Terminals are proposing in their plan.
Ted said that at Thornbury, anodes were being used to monitor emissions continuously.
Scott said he will look into the use of anodes.
Robin said that it may not be a technical requirement that the emissions from combustion be continuously monitored, but he felt the community would feel more confident about the operations at the site, if the results of continuous monitoring were made available.
- Ian G said that the reporting of information and data to the community should be in plain English, so that jargon is excluded and communication should occur continuously.
Peter Reddie said that Terminals had already demonstrated their willingness to follow these good communication process is by their activities at other sites. For instance in Geelong an Incidence Report is raised when monitoring shows any increase in emission levels. He said that Terminals understood that trust can only be gained over time.
- See Attachment 3. The Timeline Schedule.
So far all is going to plan despite the tight timelines.
The layout proposals and alternatives will be available in 2 weeks time.
In May Terminals will present the EPA Works Approval Report content to the CICCC.
The Works Approval goes in June.
Construction begins in November.
ACTION. The bar chart will be simplified and progressively updated and put on the CICCC web page. A copy of tonight’s presentation will also be posted on the web site so that others can use it.
Peter Reddie noted that the issues of concern being expressed were
- The scale of the combustion facility
- The content of air emissions
– Continuous analysing and monitoring of air emissions.
Terminals would like to receive feedback about any concerns regarding the plans.
ITEM 8. Presentation of Dangerous Goods Regulations
See Attachment 6
WorkCover’s main tasks are to prevent the occurrence of unsafe workplace practises and to provide compensation for employees who are injured at work.
The Dangerous Goods regulations are part of a suite of regulations administered by WorkCover – see diagram in attachments.
The Major Hazard Regulations cover all possible large-scale, serious incidents. Operators have to demonstrate they can manage any possible occurrence of this type.
The Storage and Handling Regulations are 10 years old and are updated about every 10 years. They are very prescriptive. Processes for handling goods could be further developed.
There are ranges of thresholds for the amounts of materials that can be stored on a site at any given point.
In Victoria there are
450 licensed Dangerous Goods sites
45 Major Hazard facilities
2,000 sites that store some Dangerous Goods
The new Hazardous Substances regulations will come into effect in June 2000. They will protect those who are working with these materials. It includes a Code of Practise.
The Department of Health and Safety are responsible for regulations covering the handling of radioactive materials. Some comes under Dangerous Goods Regulations when transported.
The Dangerous Goods Handling Regulations will be available for public comment before their finalisation. They will be available for comment sometime in September or later this year.
ITEM 9. Consultation on MHF Regulations. Progress Report by WorkCover (Matthew Wylie)
WorkCover are waiting for PACIA’s comments. The regulations should be finalised in the next 2 weeks.
ACTION. Matthew to report on progress of the above at the next meeting.
ITEM 10. Effectiveness Review – Consultant Brief. Ian Swann.
Ian apologised for missing the March meeting. He has looked at the original CICCC Objectives and proposed suitable questions for the consultant to address in relation to those objectives.
ACTION. Ian S will prepare a document and circulate to all CICCC prior to the next meeting when it will be discussed. The CICCC will then make final comments regarding Ian’s report and make suggestions as to who might conduct the review.
ITEM 11. EMS Report
Held over to the next meeting.
ITEM 12. HSE Sub- Committee Report
The committee reviewed the Risk Matrix document and it is close to finalisation.
ACTION. An EPA and a WorkCover member will attend these meetings in future.
There had been some discussion about the possibility of moving the Propylene oxide tanks to the Terminals site at Corio.
Terminals will give consideration to this and will make a presentation at the next HSE meeting. Peter Reddie said there were concerns about transporting 135,000 tons per year by road from Geelong.
George added that it had been a government decision to maintain Terminals operations at Coode Island and a Government suggestion to move the propylene oxide tanks to the BP site.
ITEM 13. Terminals Operations Report
See attachment 7
It was a busy month for shipping.
There were no injuries and no injury lost time.
Training for staff continues.
- The fire test alarm went off but there was no fire.
- The Phenol tank odour was due to a blockage (and the Pressure Vaccuum vent has been replaced )
- There was a hole in a hose – the size of a pinprick. This was caused by expansion and had been rectified.
- There are no new results on environmental monitoring
WorkCover had their 6 monthly audit of the site. They sent 4 staff for the inspection. No Directions were made, and there were only a few minor items of concern noted.
Mathew said that WorkCover need clarification on a few matters before the results of the audit will be finally available.
ACTION Mathew to give a report about the outcomes of the audit to the CICCC.
Terminals are not proceeding with the AD Little Report Recommendations because of the impending upgrade of the site.
Peter Reddie reported on an incident that had occurred on 10 December 1999 when EPA investigated Ethyl Acrylate odours at the P&O site across the road from Terminals. He said this material has a very low odour threshold but does not pose any serious health effects. Despite this he said some P&O staff had taken time off work for a couple of days. Peter said the effects would have been similar to painting a room without ventilation. The EPA are going to prosecute Terminals for this incident. Scott said that it was an air pollution matter with a maximum penalty of $20,000.
In relation to an incident at Geelong, Peter said that it was unfortunate for Terminals that this incident had occurred because it had resulted from improvements they had made to the coupling devise for the road tankers. He said that they had installed rubber material in an isolating protection devise. The rubber had become brittle and broken, causing a blockage where liquid was spilt.
The fire alarm detected the fumes, the fire brigade arrived within 5-10 minutes and the incident was reported in the papers. Terminals circulated a Press Release (Robin has a copy). They are developing better gaskets and the bottom loading facilities designed for the upgrade, will assist in curtailing these sorts of incidents. Peter said this incident indicated that the emergency detection and alarm facilities work well.
ITEM 14. Agenda for Next Meeting.
- Upgrade of the Terminals site-layouts
- MPC – Whole of Port Environmental Management Plan
- Major Hazard Regulations – Matthew Wylie
- Effectiveness Review – Ian Swann
- EMS web site information
ITEM 16. Other Business
16.1 PACIA comments regarding Safety Case information being made available to the Public.
Ian S has asked the PACIA members for their comments.
He said that PACIA have their own Code of Practise regarding the ‘Community Right To Know’.
See attachment 5
The Safety Case will contain similar information to that already available through their code of practise. So PACIA members support the notion of making the Safety Cases available to the public.
However they believe there should be some safeguards especially where matters of security are of concern. Comments that his members made included a suggestion that some pages of the Safety Case be removed where safeguards (e.g. for commercial confidentiality) were required. In other cases where security for sites is an issue, it was suggested that information be made available to members of the public on application to the company, requiring a visit ‘on site’ to view the information.
PACIA members support CICCC in their push to WorkCover for further changes on the Safety Case public availability in the regulations.
The code of conduct is enforceable by peer pressure and PACIA have a complaints resolution mechanism.
Faye asked if companies were encouraged to support each other with the development of their Safety Case documentation. He said that PACIA are willing to assist all companies (including those who are not members) with the preparation of their Safety Case reports. He added that there were no mechanisms for embracing this task collectively, however they did encourage companies to share relevant information with each other.
Robin thanked PACIA for their support with this matter.
16.2 WorkCover Health and Safety Week. 4 May 2000.
See attachment 8
A free seminar for the public will run from 10am until 2.30pm and includes lunch. The venue is:
Darebin Arts Centre
Corner Bell and St Georges Road
For details phone 9485 4555
16.3 Peter Reddie’s Concerns Regarding the Quality of Communication via the Minutes on the Web Site
Peter suggested that the minutes need to be more ‘punchy’. He was concerned that the attachments to the minutes were not going on the web page. He wondered therefore if our communication with the public could be improved.
Robin said that the content of the minutes indicated that CICCC were open and transparent with what transpired at meetings. He has not received any feedback from the public regarding the non-availability of attachments on the web page. He said that the press releases summarised the content of the minutes, for those who required something with less detail.
Robin said that Terminals presentations posted on the web should be marked as an attachment to the minutes.
Deborah said that very few people in the community know about the web site. She suggested that we might need to be posting fliers in shopping centres and other community settings.
ACTION Robin to develop a flier to publicise the CICCC web site.
Peter Reddie said that Terminals would be prepared to pay for advertisements in newspapers if it were required by the CICCC.
16.4 The Manchester Agreement (MA)
ACTION. Ian Thomas will obtain a copy of the MA and forward it to Peter Reddie for his consideration. Ian (with the help of other Committee members) will also prepare a paper on its applicability to the Terminals site a Coode Island in due course.
Thursday 27 April
Thursday 11 May
Wednesday 14 June – CICCC Forum
Thursday 15 June
CICCC ATTACHMENTS TO DRAFT MINUTES April 2000
Attachment 1 Correspondence from Hobson Bay Community Against Toxic Sites to WorkCover.
Attachment 2 Correspondence from CICCC to WorkCover
Attachment 3 Bar Chart – Terminals Redevelopment Timelines
Attachment 4 Terminals Report on Investigation into Environmental Control Systems
Attachment 5 Australian Chemical industry Council Code of Practise Right To Know
Attachment 6 Over heads for WorkCover Presentation on Regulations and Legislation for Sites.
Attachment 7 Terminals Coode Island Site Monthly Operations & Occurrence Report
Attachment 8 WorkCover health and safety Week Flier
Attachment 9 Dept Health Services clarification for Item 11 of the minutes in March 2000
** These attachments will be sent by post to those who have received e-mailed minutes.
Response by the Department of Human Services (DHS) to add clarification to the points raised in Item 11 of the minutes for the CICCC Meeting of 23 March 2000.
The Department of Human Services (DHS) is a referral agency for the works approval application to be submitted to the Environment Protection Authority by Terminals Pty Ltd.
In this process, DHS reviews the works approval and provides advice and recommendations to the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) based on public health grounds.
A prominent part of this agency’s evaluation of the works approval is gaining an appreciation and understanding of the issues of community concern relating to the proposed works. Murray Franks, the Environmental Health Officer for the Western regional office of the Department is the representative monitoring the issues and concerns raised by community for the works approval.
In response to CICCCs letter of 24 November 1999 requesting health risk contours based on morbidity data, this Department supports the response from EPA in the letter of 24 February 2000.
The department is satisfied with the current approach for assessing works approvals in relation to the control of specific localised emissions. This includes the predictive modelling of potential emissions for comparison with specific air quality criteria which are set to ensure that there will be not be any unacceptable impact on human health.
The following are the Department’s points of clarification of item 11 (ie. ‘Report on meeting with the Department of Human Services on Health Morbidity’) of the minutes from the CICCC meeting of 23 March 2000:
- Dr Anne Geschke invited Robin and Faye to discuss concerns on behalf of CICCC. Vikki Lynch and Julie Eichner, who are both on the Coode Island intergovernmental technical working group, also attended these discussions.
- The second sentence in paragraph 2 [ie. ‘The position of such a petrochemical site in a built up area is an unusual worldwide practice’] was not a statement made by Dr Geschke.
- In relation to paragraph 3, discussions of these particular issues were general in nature and included the Department’s approach to assessing works approvals (as briefly mentioned above). However, there was no agreement for the necessity to carry out an epidemiological study relating to the points raised in this paragraph.
- Finally, a correction to the last sentence of item 11. Vikki Lynch and Julie Eichner are on the inter-governmental technical working group.