13 May, 2010
ITEM 1. WELCOME BY THE CHAIR, APOLOGIES & CONFIRMATION
OF DRAFT AGENDA
Robin Welcome to Cheryl Batagol.
Apologies: Carlo Fasolino, Sue Chatterton and Theo Pykoulas.
Confirmation of draft agenda – adopted
ITEM 2. DISCUSSION WITH CHERYL BATAGOL, CHAIRMAN EPA.
Robin In introducing Cheryl,
Robin confirmed (and the meeting agreed) that the minutes would not repeat
matters already minuted at the April TGCCC meeting, where Cheryl had made a
detailed presentation. Those minutes will be available on line (www.tgccc.org) following their formal adoption at the
June meeting of the TGCCC
Cheryl Thanked the
committee for the opportunity of attending the meeting.
I was appointed as
the Chair of the EPA in September 2009, I have a background in Waste management
and at times I have been somewhat critical of the EPA having experienced a
customer relationship with them. I was then offered the Position of the Chair
of the EPA which I am very excited about.
My focus is on
governance and we are currently on a transformation journey to become a modern
and accountable regulatory authority. We are currently reviewing all of our
internal and external processes.
One of the changes,
reflecting a change in the governance approach, was the separation of Chair and
CEO positions. John Merritt has been appointed as the CEO of the EPA. The Chair
is independent of the day to day running of the organization and will bring a
higher level of accountability onto the EPA.
the EPA’s new approach and oversight to compliance and the Compliance Framework
template which will be the basis of the EPA Business Plan. The EPA recognizes
they need to change the way they operate and focus on helping organisations to
comply with the Environmental Protection Act.
The focus is to
change the culture and allow staff with the skills and knowledge to make
decisions make them, which has not been encouraged in the past.
Robin Cheryl, can
you provide us with your view of the importance of the CLC’S?
Cheryl The community has the
right to know and understand what is happening in their community.
Faye Most of what you have talked
about is reactive. Is there a proactive side to the EPA?
Cheryl We do not look after the
bio-diversity part of the act. However, we play a proactive role in the
· Pollution prevention;
· Resource efficiency and sustainability;
· Climate change & CO2 emissions
· The EREPs (Environmental Resource Efficiency Program) are a proactive
tool applied particularly to companies that produce the most waste, or consume
the most energy and water. We require audits of such companies, and seek
recommendations for improvements. We require that companies undertake those
improvements that pay for themselves within three years. EREP has saved $70
million so far in energy, water and resources;
· We are conducting major blitzes on illegal dumping, building wastes,
tyres and asbestos;
· License reforms;
· We fund conferences and approximately one third of our budget is spent
There has been criticism of EPA
writing policy and regulating against it. The SEPPs are numerous and complex,
and need simplification. DSE will auspice the development of this work.
Bro My particular
interest as an environmental representative is in two-way accountability
processes between the environmental movement and government. How do you build
two way communications between the Authority, civil communities and clients?
The EPA had processes with the environmental movement but seem to have moved
away from them. I was also concerned that the move to accredited licences was
pushing regulation onto companies and neighbours.
Cheryl We have
community and individual liaison groups and the EPA has been accused of
withdrawing from those processes. We are committed to developing a process that
does engage with the broader community and civil society. I am also committed
to developing performance measures and I recognize the need to find a way of
engaging the community more broadly.
Bro I think there needs to be
more structure and a focus on the environment.
Ian I have several
points I would like to raise.
· It is important the EPA recognize good staff and keep them
· There needs to be some work done on variable responses provided by the
· The previous waste exchange should be reintroduced
· There needs to be transparency in the organisation
Cheryl I note your first point.
Point two has, in part, driven the changes underway. There have been
inconsistencies and I recognise there needs to be more consistency. If we get
to a point where we can’t take issues any further then we should be able to
admit that and say that.
not sure that the EPA ran the waste exchange: the second version was run by
Ecorecycle, but your point is noted.
transparency, I recognise the need for change and where we can we should err on
the side of transparency. Except where we are bound by the FOI and Commercial
in Confidence we should be able to provide you, the community, with not just
your requests but regularly disclose regulatory and compliance information.
George Just to add another perspective I think that many people have
lost interest and there has been a shift in perspective. People now believe
there has been an element of change and unless there is a major incident like
Longford people do not appear as concerned.
Robin and Deborah agreed.
Ian Referred to the need for commitments given in public to be followed
through. Stated that his experience was that EPA’s performance on openness was
considerably better that WorkSafe’s, and wished Cheryl to be aware of that.
Faye I think it would be advantageous for the EPA to spend more time
promoting their role and what they do via the media.
Cheryl It’s a good point Faye, however, we currently provide the air
pollution readings in the written media on a daily basis. I don’t know that the
radio media would be interested in interviewing us regularly.
Bro Interviews trap politicians, however, I do not believe the EPA have
done as well as they could have. Sought advice on the timetable for
consultation on the Compliance Reform.
Cheryl There will be a report to the Minister by June 30th,
and following that a broad consultation program.
Bro EPA is starting from a low base, and needs to build relationships.
It is critical to involve people early in any consultation process.
Peter There is also some value in sharing experiences. The EPA should
share information among their clients. This would help with lessons learnt, for
example Transpacific and their current issues with Phenol waste.
Cheryl We do run Hazwaste seminars in which Industry come together and
share their problems and solutions.
George Perhaps Peter could make a presentation at the seminar.
Michael Cheryl I am pleased you came tonight. If the situation occurred
where EPA has to put government in its place, that would be interesting.
Cheryl Thank you for the opportunity and I can assure you the EPA has
and will regulate and I can guarantee we will play an even hand. I have
delegated my powers under the Act but I still oversee the decisions made and I
ensure they are correct.
Robin Thank you for coming Cheryl, it was very worthwhile.
Presented the EPA Report, and offered her apology as she had another
ITEM 3. CONFIRM DRAFT MINUTES FOR THE MEETING ON 18 MARCH
2010, AND REVIEW ACTION ITEM LIST
George I have some
concerns regarding the previous minutes and the minutes for this meeting. If
Ian wishes to raise items in meetings he needs to be prepared to provide names
and examples. I do not want to be party to issues raised without evidence. It’s
an embarrassment to the committee.
Deborah I would
have to agree.
Ian Just looking
through the minutes I cannot believe I only said two things at the last
Robin Draft Minutes
of the 18th March, 2010 adopted without change.
12/09-5 Carlo to liaise with WorkSafe
and enquire if the Buncefield vapor cloud explosion scenarios need to be
included in future reviews of the Safety Case. –
George Yes, there
will be a number of matters that arise out of the Buncefield inquiry that will
be reflected in our Safety Case review.
Ian Ian stated that
the UK HSE had advised in writing that a petrol UVCE (Unconfined Vapour Cloud
Explosion) was not considered to be possible, but in fact there had been four
previous such incidents. He noted that some 10% butane in the UK to make it
easier to start cars in cold weather,
George Stated that
when acrylonitrile was stored at Terminals Coode facility, the possibility of
an UVCE was a significant risk on a cold night.
Deborah What would happen if something happened at Coode at night and the
person on call couldn’t be roused for some reason?
George The site is
not manned at night, though there is a sophisticated video monitoring system.
The likelihood of a UVCE starting at night when there is no activity at the
facility is low. If the computer management system detected a fault, Terminals
staff would be called to take action.
3/10-1 EPA to advise if Terminals Annual Report on
the Coode Island facility is available to the CICCC following its receipt from
The item should properly seek advice from EPA relating to their comfort with
Terminals providing the signed report to EPA directly to the community at the
same time. This matter is further reported under Item 5 below.
ITEM 5. 2009 Annual Report
Carlo had advised
that the report was not yet available.
George Stated that the issue had
arisen with the TGCCC. At Coode, additional information is added to the EPA
Annual Report before it is provided to the CICCC. He would ask Carlo to bring
both the Annual Report to EPA and the Annual Report to the Community to the
next meeting, so that the differences could be better understood, and a
Carlo to bring both forms of Annual Report
to the August meeting for discussion and decision.
ITEM 4. REPORTS FROM AGENCIES AND TERMINALS
TERMINALS PTY LTD
Peter Went through
the Operations Report covering such topics as Shipping, Road Transport,
Injuries and explained the incidents.
ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION AUTHORITY
EPA Activity Report
March- May 2010 tabled as reported above.
CITY OF MARIBRYNONG
Robin Theo asked me
to report as follows:
Theo advises that VCAT has heard the appeal by the
applicant against City of Maribyrnong’s failure to make a decision on the
planning permit application at Lot B 200 Stephen St, Yarraville (for a 66 unit
residential development approximately 200 metres from the Mobil Oil Yarraville
facility), and ordered that the permit be refused.
ITEM 6 OTHER BUSINESS
Robin The issue
with regards to the Annual Reports that Terminals issue.
through slowly. We need to have a careful look at those reports as it is very
much part of our business. It is incumbent on us as a committee to look at
those reports. I want to alert you all to the increased significance and
importance I place on the annual reports, particularly with the changes being
made to licence reform, so that we as a committee do not become merely reactive
to day-to-day issues, but also look at the bigger picture.
Bro Remarked that
small companies need prescriptive licences. Lots of companies don’t understand
their licences. There are big changes occurring at EPA, and some things (such
as the EPA knowledge base) are falling through the cracks
Ian We didn’t
discuss the ongoing representation by EPA at CICCC and the possibility of a
Robin to ring Kerry Murphy about future arrangements for EPA
representation at CICCC meetings.
NEXT SCHEDULED MEETINGS:
for 2010 –19 August & 2 December, 2010
MEETING CLOSED 9:30