Thursday 14 December 2000
Robin Saunders CICCC chair person
John Luppino City of Maribyr, GM City Dev /committee
Keith Smithers Environ. Protection Authority West. Dist
Matthew Wylie WorkCover
Deborah Macfarlane community rep./ committee
Ian Thomas community rep./ committee
Ted Towson community rep./ committee
Carlo FasolinoOp. Manager Terminals P.Ltd./committee
Dr Peter Brotherton Combined Enviro. Groups / committee
Jarrod EdwardsWorkCover / committee
George Horman Terminals Pty Ltd / committee
Michael Isaachsen community rep./committee
Faye Simpson community rep./ committee
Peter Reddie Gen Manager Terminals / committee
Ian Swann Plastics & Chemicals Ind Ass / committee
Murray Frank Dept. Human Serv, /ex off committee
Greg Twitt Environ. Protec Authy / ex off committee
Trevor Perkins Commander /Metro Fire & Emerg Ser.
Marilyn Olliff Environmental Protection Authority
Vanessa Richardson minute taker
ITEM 1. WELCOME BY THE CHAIR
The chairperson welcomed the committee members and observers in attendance.
ITEM 2. APOLOGIES
Apologies were received from Cathy Aktypis and Gordon Harrison.
ITEM 3. CONFIRMATION OF THE AGENDA
The Draft Agenda was adopted with the following additional items for discussion –
- Letter from the Premier’s Department
- Professor Ian Rae’s Report
ITEM 4 . BRIEF REPORT FROM AGENCIES AND TERMINALS ON KEY ISSUES INCLUDING THE WORKS APPROVAL DECISION.
Matthew Wylie said that WorkCover are presently considering the issues raised at the 20B Conference. He said Terminals will continue to require a license as provided under the 1989 Regulations. Terminals’ Dangerous Goods Licence Application has been received, which includes a fire safety study which WorkCover and MF&ESB are reviewing. The department has received Terminals Safety Case outline and feed back will be given to Terminals by early next year.
Nothing to report from the Health Department.
Trevor (MFES) said that the Terminals Works Approval document had been looked at and feedback had been given to Terminals.
The Terminals Fire Safety Study was still under consideration by his department. The fire protection matters required written advice from the MFES.
See attachment 1 & 2 & 7
Greg said that the EPA has released “Protecting Victoria’s Air Environment” a draft variation to the State Environmental Protection Policy (Air Quality Management and Ambient Air Quality) and a Draft Policy Impact Assessment.
ACTION. Greg will make 3 copies of the above document available to 3 CICCC members as requested.
The Works Approval has been granted with some changes required to the plan.
Notes on Attachment 1 (overheads)
Additional vapour controls
Vent condensers will be required to be installed on all benzene and BTX tanks. The combination of condensers and the combustors will significantly reduce the emissions of benzene.
Peter Reddie said that with no controls 72 tons of benzene would go into the atmosphere per annum. The existing vapour emission controls limit discharges to about 7½ tonnes per annum. In the upgraded plant, the use of combustors will reduce benzene emissions to 290 kg per annum. With the upgrade as proposed by Terminals and the further requirements of EPA (addition of the condensers and vapour returns from tanker filling) only 56 kg of benzene will go into the atmosphere, or the same amount of benzene that is emitted to the atmosphere by a car that trvels 30,000 km per year.
Peter Brotherton remarked that the benzene in the car would be burnt.
Ian Thomas said that he thought the EPA should be considering safety matters more closely.
Greg said that propylene oxide vapour emissions will go through a two-stage treatment, a scrubber and through the combustor too. So will the acrylonitrile, and toluene diisocyanate (which will use two carbon canisters).
Improved capture of residual emissions will be required, including tell-tale seals on emergency relief valves.
Options for main vapour emission control
The two options considered were the use of carbon beds or combustors. The EPA has approved the use of combustors for most products. Despite concerns raised by Ian T Greg said that there are no safety problems with the combustor proposition.
Matthew Wylie said that Terminals have shown that they have the capacity to manage any possible danger.
Ian T said he thought Matthews comment was in contrast to what had been previously stated by him.
Peter Reddie said that if there is no combustor on the site then there would need to be a boiler on site to make steam for the carbon beds.
Matthew said that Terminals do meet the regulated requirements re safety and the department can not go outside it’s regulated powers.
George said that the literature/research showed that world wide incidents for combustors were less and localised in comparison to incidents for carbon beds.
Peter B asked if the EPA had independently verified the above information about world wide incidents of the two options? EPA indicated that they had done no independent investigation of the data presented to them by Terminals.
Michael asked – when does an ignition source become a hazard on a site like Terminal’s on Coode Island?
Matthew said that there needs to be a loss of containment of a product and then the bund will fill with the spilt material but it will not ignite unless it rises. The height of the combustors flames are above the likely level of the dangerously flammable materials like benzene, acrylates and others (situated around the area of the combustors) which are heavier than air and cannot rise to the point where the flame is positioned. Detectors positioned in the area will detect any escaped hazardous gases and sound alarms. There is to be continuous monitoring on both combustors and more stringent monitoring on emission points.
Bunding and stormwater control
Bund capacity was increased. The revised requirements for bund lining are a geo-synthetic clay liner, a crushed rock layer and an asphaltic concrete or spray sealed bitumen surface. For stages 2 and 3, tanks will be lifted sequentially, a liner will be inserted below each. The bund capacity required is not less than the sum of the full tank capacity plus 90 minutes of firewater, with a 150 mm freeboard.
There is a requirement in the WA Conditions for Terminals to connect to the sewer when it is available. Procedures for handling excess firewater in emergency situations are to be developed.
Construction Phase Environmental Improvement Plan—includes the identification of potential risks and strategies to minimise risks.
Emergency and back-up systems
The Terminals Fire Safety Study will be assessed by WorkCover and the Fire Brigade (MFES). There are no design faults in what is proposed by Terminals.
Deborah said that she was aware of there only being a very sketchy outline available about any arrangements regarding the management of fires on the site.
Keith said that Stage 2 would not commence until fire safety compliances were met by Terminals.
Michael asked of the 13 recommendations made by Professor Rae in his report were adopted by the EPA?
Greg said that about 6 or 7 items were adopted. The remained were issues that would be dealt with through WorkCover and other Authorities.
Matthew said that the Safe Safety Study would include some of the recommendations.
In relation to the 13 recommendations made by Prof Ian Rae in his 20(B) conference report, Greg s explained who was responsible for the passage of the following recommendations:
Recommendation 1 Adopted by EPA in the Works Approval conditions
Recommendation 2 WorkCover (Safety case and Dangerous Goods process)
Recommendation 3 City of Maribyrnong – Planning. EPA Buffer Zones are usually about 1000m but the Maribyrnong council would consult with the EPA for these zone limits.
Recommendation 4 Fire Safety – WorkCover and MF&ESB
Recommendation 5 EPA have addressed the storm water issues so there is no contamination. (see Works Approval doc and the Licensing conditions). WorkCover to look at safety concerns.
Recommendation 6 Adopted by EPA in the Works Approval conditions
Recommendation 7 Adopted by EPA in the Works Approval conditions
Recommendation 8 Melbourne Ports corporation. EPA will notify Melb Ports of this matter.
Recommendation 9 Yet to be determined. Greg said that the EPA were currently monitoring ground level benzene levels at Coode Island. They plan to continuously monitor benzene levels on Coode Island next year. They are also taking measurements in nearby residential areas.
In future Terminals will be required to monitor the discharge points and the combustors but probably not ground level measurements (this will be determined after the collation of present testing results – the levels may always be found to be below the required threshold).
Recommendation 10 The EPA are regularly raising this issue with the responsible authorities. Terminals will connect to the sewer as soon as it is constructed. This is stipulated in Terminals licensing agreement.
Recommendation 11 Will be raised with government departments.
Recommendation 12 Marilyn said further discussion was needed about this.
Recommendation 13 The EPA cannot recommend one station over another.
Ian Thomas said that Terminals had previously undertaken to meet world’s best practise for safety and the environment, and so now it has no alternative but to do so.
Robin said he was concerned that the community through bodies like the CICCC has no statutory authority to comment regarding the Safety Case document and other approvals. The CICCC is left to rely on the company (Terminals) to keep it informed.
Peter B said the Works Approval was the only public process through which the CICCC could have access to information of relevance (for scrutiny) to the community.
Ian Thomas asked Greg for a list of all the recommendations that came out of the 20B Conference.
Peter B asked how the recommendations not covered in the Works Approval, would be dealt with.
ACTION. Robin to write, requesting the following from the EPA
- Which of Professor Rae’s recommendations have been adopted by the EPA?
- Which will be referred to WorkCover and which specifically to another authority?
- Which recommendations from all submissions received have not been approved?
Greg said the relevant bodies will be notified by the EPA of the recommendations. He said the upgraded site will have an increased storage capacity of 3% more than it presently stores.
Robin said the EPA were adopting 4 recommendations, 8 were being referred elsewhere and 1 is still undetermined. He is concerned that issues raised at the conference and in submissions have not been adequately considered.
Peter B said the public had put a lot of effort into the submissions but their input was not reflected in the recommendations.
ACTION. Request that copies of all correspondence from the EPA to other authorities, indicating that the EPA support the recommendation relevant to that authority, be sent to the CICCC.
Ian Thomas said that his submission had not been considered at all. He strongly suggested that future proposals of this type be more widely advertised to the public. He said given Terminals previous history with the fire, the cause of which Terminals will not divulge, he questions whether they are a fit and proper company to conduct such a business on Coode Island.
Robin said that Terminals have spoken publicly about the cause of the fire and have suggested several possible causes. He noted that other CICCC members held a more positive opinion about the Terminals management capacity than Ian Thomas.
Perter Reddie reminded Ian that the Terminals management has changed in recent years following the fire on Coode Island.
Ian Thomas said that Faye’s submission about health matters had not been given enough consideration by the EPA.
Greg said they are ensuring that the site is as healthy as possible.
Faye said she felt she had not been heard by Professor Rae. She said her concern about thalates needed more mention in the EPA responses.
Michael said that Professor Rae had noted his concerns about road transport but he thought the EPA could have given more consideration to transport issues.
Marilyn said that the Fire Safety management plan is included in the Works Approval. There are presently monthly meetings held where all the relevant agencies meet to discuss this matter. She said the Works Approval document is an agreement between the EPA and Terminals about the construction of the site on Coode Island. Consequently the Works Approval could not be withheld while decisions about residential buffer zones are being decided.
John said that land is zoned ‘industrial’ up to Hyde St and so residential development is prohibited. If it is within the EPA buffer zone it could not be rezoned as residential land in the future. However an objection could be lodged, in which case it would come before an independent panel for a decision.
Ian Swann said that the EPA could work with council on any zoning applications.
Greg said that buffer zones for such sites were recommended as 1000 meters. He said that future rezoning applications for land between the Maribyrnong River and Hyde Street would not get EPA approval. Marilyn said EPA would need to be advised of any rezoning proposed, and that a decision could not be made until it goes to the appropriate people (with the power) within the EPA. Therefore while the EPA may appose such rezoning today, in the future, that position may change.
Peter Reddie said that Terminals would not want residential development within the buffer zone area either.
Ian Swann said that the industry body would also take a grim view about such development within the buffer zones.
John said that the City of Maribyrnong could not stop the construction of a caretaker’s residence on some sites within the buffer zone.
Faye asked if the EPA could request that the Melbourne Port Authority upgrade the wharf?
Greg said it could be done through a Pollution Abatement Notice if it were seen as a necessary step in the prevention of pollution.
Peter B said that at Homebush (NSW), information was being made available to the community regarding the contaminated soil results.
Greg said that ongoing information about the emissions from the Terminals site to the Victorian community might not be required. He said it is expensive to collect this information (staff requirements) and make it publicly available.
Ian Thomas said he thought it should be required.
Michael said it would be useful to be alerted to the unusual events when emission levels might increase unexpectedly.
Robin said that in Stage 1, direct road access had been provided to each storage tank. He asked if the same provisions were being made for Stages 2 & 3?
George said the only area still to be ironed out about Stages 2 & 3 is the acceptance by MF&ESB and VWA of the fire case study.He said that in the submission to the EPA equal weight was given to the development and presentation for all stages but that, as required, Stage 1 was dealt with in more detail with the CICCC.
Peter B said it was inappropriate that there was no regulated open process for Stages 2 & 3 and that the CICCC was left to rely on reassurance from the chemical industry about future plans and proposals on their storage sites.
Robin said the license process did not allow for any public challenges to proposals.
Marilyn said that draft licenses were made available by the department for public comment although there was no such statutory requirement for this. They have not received interdepartmental guidelines for this process yet.
Peter B said that this was a welcomed move and asked to be advised of the process when it was finalised.
Marilyn said that licenses would not be issued until the EPA had received approval from the other regulating authorities like WorkCover and the MFB, etc.
Peter Reddie said that since the 1991 fire, all the safety recommendations made by WorkCover and the MFB have been adopted. They are
- deluge water rings have been installed around the top of all tanks
- new fire system (better than the required Australian Standard) to protect the fire mains
- more isolation points
- improved accessibility
Trevor added that the MF&ESB were ensuring that there would be appropriate access onto the island and the site. We are putting a strong focus on this and have continued to request alternative accesses.
Marilyn said that Professor Rae had considered all the written submissions.
Greg added that in addition, the EPA staff had attended all CICCC meetings and had been continually making note of any issues raised during the CICCC meetings.
Peter Reddie said that the upgrade was costing terminals an extra 1 – 1.5 million dollars due to the extra requirements of the EPA. For example benzene emissions are presently about 100 µg/m3 (Ground Level Concentration). Terminals proposal in the upgrade was to have them lowered to 79 µg/m3 GLC but the EPA have insisted on 26 µg/m3 GLC.
Ian S said that all government processes had their flaws. He suggested the CICCC invite Professor Rae to meet with the CICCC and that the CICCC should then raise outstanding issues with the appropriate authorities so that they are properly considered.
Greg reminded the CICCC that the Works Approval document was available on the EPA website.
ACTION. CICCC to write to the EPA saying
- Concerned that there has not been a stronger response from the EPA about matters that it cannot deal with itself.
- Request that the EPA put their weight behind the other recommendations
The Committee does not intend to appeal the Works Approval.
Ian Thomas said that a personal appeal may be necessary and he invited others to join him if they wished.
ITEM 5. CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING OF 9 NOV
- Item 4.3 last paragraph should read
“Greg said that consideration of background levels of benzene must be included as part of the assessment, as outlined in the SEPP (Air Quality Management). It is appropriate to use the Collins Street data, as this was likely to be higher than actual background levels at Coode Island. The combination of background levels and any emissions of benzene from Terminals must comply with the limits in the SEPP.”
- Item 11.4 Delete ‘at the casino’
The minutes were adopted with the above amendments.
ITEM15. OTHER BUSINESS
Greg is leaving the EPA and travelling overseas next year. He thanked the CICCC members and said that Marilyn and Jim Clements will continue as the EPA representatives at CICCC meetings.
Faye thanked Greg on behalf of the CICCC and said that everyone applauded his contributions to the CICCC.
ACTION. The CICCC will send a letter to Greg reflective of their positive comments.
Peter B raised the matter of the CICCC letter to the premier’s Dept earlier in the year. The CICCC did not receive a reply to the letter for 4 months and then the contents of the letter were brief and gave no response to the questions specifically asked by the CICCC. Peter said that in this instance he thought the CICCC had been treated poorly by the government and he will take this matter forward in the Xmas/New Year period.
Robin thanked the CICCC for their attendance throughout the year and wished everyone a happy Xmas. He said the CICCC had achieved a great deal in the past 12 months.
** CANCELLED Jan 2001 Meeting
Meeting Thursday 8 February 2001
Thursday 8 March 2001
CICCC ATTACHMENTS TO DRAFT MINUTES 14 December 2000
Attachment 1 EPA Document – The Conditions of the Terminals Pty Ltd Works Approval
Attachment 2 EPA Media Release 1 Dec 2000
Attachment 3 Correspondence ‘In’ from EPA – Issue of the Works Approval
Attachment 4 Correspondence ‘Out’ – Maribyrnong CC re Buffer Zone
Attachment 5 Ian Swann (PACIA) Overhead notes – ‘Living with the Community’
Attachment 6 HS&E Sub Committee Draft Minutes, Nov 2000
Attachment 7 “Protecting Victoria’s Air Environment” a draft variation to the State Environmental Protection Policy (Air Quality Management and Ambient Air Quality) and a Draft Policy Impact Assessment.