COODE ISLAND COMMUNITY CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE
Thursday 14 November
CICCC / Chairperson
Manager, Regulatory Affairs – PACIA
Op. Manager Terminals P.Ltd./committee
State Man./Terminals Pty Ltd / committee
community rep./ CICCC committee
community rep./ committee
community rep./ CICCC committee
Dr Peter Brotherton
Combined Enviro. Groups / committee
community rep./ committee
Bronwyn Brookman Smith
MH Div / WorkSafe
Env. Protection Authority / ex off comm
WorkCover / ex off comm
Manager S Aust – Terminals P/L
Melb University – PhD student
ITEM 1. WELCOME BY THE CHAIR
* Robin welcomed the committee members and other people attending the CICCC.
ITEM 2. APOLOGIES
* Apologies were received from Trevor Perkins, John Luppino and Robyn Betts.
* The CICCC discussed its concerns about the detail in Robyn’s ‘apology for non-attendance tonight’ e-mail.
ACTION. Letter from CICCC to Robyn Betts re the above matter.
ITEM 3. CONFIRMATION OF THE DRAFT AGENDA
* The draft agenda was adopted
ITEM 4. BENTLEY CHEMPLAX PARAFFIN SPILL-OBSERVATIONS BY PETER HINKSMAN, DEPUTY HARBOUR MASTER, VICTORIAN CHANNELS AUTHORITY (NOW CONFIRMED FOR DEC. MEETING)
* Deferred to the December meeting.
ITEM 5. CHANNEL DEEPENING EES, LISA FALDON, VCA NOW CONFIRMED FOR THE FEBRUARY MEETING)
* Lisa Faldon will attend the February CICCC meeting.
ITEM 6. PROGRESS ON THE OESC PILOT PROJECT (ROBYN BETTS)
* Robyn was an apology for the meeting (see Item 2 above)
ITEM 7. BRIEF REPORT FROM AGENCIES AND TERMINALS ON KEY ISSUES
* Ian asked the government reps to comment about the hydrogen tank explosion at Laverton, reported in the press today.
Jarrod said that it had occurred at Omega Chemicals, Brooklyn. He is not aware of any fatalities where there were medical treatment injuries to staff. Ian commented that the hydrochloric acid, stored in an 8000 litre tank, is used to recover scrap aluminium. Hydrogen is liberated during the process. Ian however, was unaware whether the vessel which had exploded was a storage tank or a process vessel.
See attachment 1.
* Bronwyn said that the desktop assessment of Terminals’ Safety case is almost complete, and a few items are still to be provided by Terminals. Verification commences next week. If no significant issues are identified in assessment and verification, a decision on the licence could be made before Christmas.
Robin asked if the Safety Case included propylene oxide, benzene and the worst case scenarios?
George said that a worst case scenario for benzene and propylene oxide and other chemicals, as flammables had been conducted. He said that the flammable propylene oxide scenario had or will result in the inclusion of number of gas detector alarms to warn of a spill or vapour release as safety features on the Terminals site.
The likelihood of an Acrylonitrile spill will be lessened by using double seal pumps and independent high level alarms. The toxic affects of a spill and the area affected will be substantially reduced through the installation of an automatic foam spreader activated by gas detectors should a spill occur in the bund. This is an expensive safety measure to install so Terminals customer may make a commercial decision to discontinue the storage of acrylonitrile on Coode Island the cost possibly making it’s use uneconomical. This chemical is used in the manufacture of structural plastics (used to make liners of refrigerators, hard hats). Terminals only handle about 700 tonnes per year. It is stored in a 1000 cubic metre tank, and individual shipment parcels are about 300 tonnes.
George said that there are many chemicals which require a lot of safety infrastructure to be stored and so they become too expensive to store and are instead stored on sites in Asia where costs are lower They take their manufacturing operations with them.
Ian Thomas mentioned the visit to Melbourne of Dr John Bond, an international expert in the storage of acrylonitrile, and his attendance at the AGM of the Victorian Branch of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute. Dr Bond would have been pleased to be present tonight had his schedule permitted.
Jarrod said that WorkCover have not specified detail control measures but they expect Terminals to assess and identify the controls they will employ for the safe storage of these chemicals.
Following Robin’s question about how then do WorkSafe assess what is safe and what is not safe, Peter said that he understood WorkSafe to be saying that Terminals make an assessment about the level of safety it requires and then present its plan to WorkSafe for assessment.
George said that Terminals proposed the foam spreader in its 2000 Works Approval but have had delays with the installation of automatic AN foam dump to the bund. This was caused by the delays in finalising its lease with government and not being able to implement its works approval. He said the Safety Case process requirement for TPL to assess the adequacy of the safety features on its plant has confirmed the need for the AN foam dump. This has been included in its safety case so as to convince WorkSafe that the risk is ‘as low as practicable’ as is required.
Faye asked if a maintenance regime was written up and tried out by Terminals staff as a practice for any possible emergency?
George said that there is a detailed listing of maintenance requirement kept on the site. There were also monthly and annual test regimes. The Safety Case also requires such systems to be in place and audited.
Bronwyn said that as part of the verification and ongoing oversight the WorkSafe staff go and examine the test results for these procedures when practised/tested by the staff. The verification team will pick procedures at random, and will spend about five days on the site checking.
Ian said that as a warning to WorkCover, at the inquest of the Coode Island fire, evidence was provided by a barrister that the maintenance test results were written into the diary ‘after the fire’ incident. He added that these days the WorkCover staff are more experienced than they were in 1991 when the fire occurred at the Terminals site on Coode Island.
Bronwyn responded that WorkSafe was aware of the importance of implementation of controls and not just paperwork and therefore verification during Safety Case assessment included both checks of the paper work and of the actual processes.
Michael asked about WorkCover’s assessment of the Safety Case of a less safety conscious company than Terminals. He asked if WorkSafe think of, or suggest things that a company may have overlooked as a possible solution?
Jarrod said that in recent years for instance, Emergency Services have recommended additional or alternate controls to prevent escalation and mitigate an incident, like nitrogen blanketing of tanks. He said that as the understanding of hazards increases, technology advances and implementation costs reduce, what is practicable to further reduce risk will continually evolve. However, practicability would not enable the continued operation of an activity that exceeds any recognised industry or stakeholder criteria.
Bronwyn said that WorkCover assist a company to see any lack of safety more clearly but without actually prescribing a solution or doing the work for company.
Ian suggested that since Longford, WorkCover no longer prescribe a solution to a safety issue, to avoid liability should an incident occur.
Quentin said that acrylonitrile had been a factor in the 1991 fire and the foam blanketing recommended at the time following the fire has been included as part of the current Safety Case.
Robin said that these changes have resulted in a safer industry.
Ian said it was debatable that the industry was now safer because of the ‘occupier onus’ but that he hoped it was. He believed that the prior prescriptive regulatory regime was better than the new regime.
* Jarrod gave a report for Trevor Perkins (Emergency Services). Trevor had returned from leave but that they had temporarily relocated their offices. He said that the brigade have been continuing its consultation with Terminals for the Emergency Plan which is still evolving.
They have also been continuing discussions with MPC in relation to the upgrade in fire safety measures for the Maribyrnong No 1 Berth. The finalising of the tendering process for the upgrade is proceeding, and the work will take 2 years to complete. The scope of the works include
1. Upgrade of the pumps
2. Upgrade of the pipework
3. Improved operation of a deluge system so that people will be better protected.
4. The inclusion of automated booms on the Maribyrnong River to reduce the spread of spilt materials on the water both up and downstream of the berth.
Ian, misunderstanding the nature of the booms referred to in this item, commented on the wisdom of the use of loading arms at the wharf, and his view of the improved safety and environmental performance of these when compared to the current flexible hoses.
* Quentin said that the EPA have been working on the EIP document. They have agreement with Terminals on most issues and TPL will redraft the EIP over the next Month. It should be ready by next meeting. He said it will be useful to include the CICCC input. He would like to see the document published before the work on the plan is completed in 3 years time.
Robin added that the completion of the EIP was one of the CICCC’s most important tasks.
*Quentin said that the EPA have a new chair Mick Bourke who came from City West Water.
ACTION. Robin will write to Mick and invite him to address the CICCC in the New Year.
* George reported that Bob Gafney (from S T Services) is the new NSW State Manager for Terminals P/L.
* The new combuster is working on the Coode Island site. There are a few minor technical problems to iron out otherwise it is working well.
See Attachment 2
* George said he e-mailed a Geelong site local community information brochure to all on the CICCC mailing list. There is now a draft one available for the Coode Island site. George said he would welcome any comments from the CICCC about the brochure.
Robin said it is unlikely that the CICCC will add anything to the brochure as it is part of the Terminals Safety Case requirements and as such is a Terminals P/L document.
ACTION. Include the CICCC web site address to the above brochure.
* In answer to Deborah’s question George said that they had not yet decided which streets would receive the mail drop of the brochure. The brochure includes all the community information required by the Major Hazards legislation.
Ian expressed concern that works on Coode Island were moving closer to residents. He felt that the area where the mail drop was done should be quite broad.
Robin suggested that a few thousand be printed so that brochures could also be placed at the Maribyrnong Council office, Community Health Centres and local schools, etc.
Deborah suggested that the type of the text sections be increased in size as 8-point font is too small to read easily. She also suggested the use of simpler language preferably pitched at a Grade 5 level (as is the rule for Centrelink brochures). She said that Mackenzie Road and West Melbourne areas should be included in the letter drop also. The Footscray Centrelink office can give George the main language groups for the area.
Robin said that the new pamphlet as tabled looked good. Recently he saw something similar in a Vic Roads brochure. This brochure had included one panel that gave the contact details for the translation services for different languages groups. It also included a one sentence line in each language, indicating the main topic of the brochure. He suggested that a similar panel of information be included in this new Terminals brochure, as not all residents in the Footscray area are English speaking.
Faye suggested a graph be included in the brochure indicating the improved safety measures acquired at the site over time.
In answer to Ian’s suggestion to the effect that there was plenty of space for inclusion of an independent CICCC segment if the copy of the licence was left out, George said that a picture of the license had to be included in the brochure. Ian also suggested the inclusion of a different coloured panel listing the names of the CICCC members so that the public are informed of a community committee member that they can contact if they wish.
ACTION. Robin will draft the above panel and circulate it for comment.
ACTION. George has discussed the EIP with Quentin so Quentin will table a draft for the next CICCC meeting.
* See Attachment 3.
Carlo presented the Terminals Monthly Operations & Occurrence Report for October 2002. He said that the carbon beds will continue to be operated for another 2 years at least because some of the site will not be linked to the combuster. The Marstel site will not be completed until 2004.
In answer to Robin’s question George said he hoped that the EPA would agree to use the existing carbon beds as the diversion for vapours if there should be a problem with the combustors. Terminals original proposal was to install a new carbon bed for this but since the current systems will operate for an extended period of time rather than be shut down as originally planned; TPL sees no benefit in having a separate bed that cannot be regenerated. TPL is putting a proposal to the EPA to show the benefits of this course.
ACTION. George will produce a graph showing the total organic carbon limit that can be detected in the carbon bed.
George disagreed with Ian’s comment that ‘small grab samples’ could be taken from the current carbon beds or combustor now in use. The sample sizes need to be very large so that there is enough material to analyse. Ian’s comments related to claims by Terminals that the random nature of the emissions testing regime by external consultants was likely to virtually always miss a short-term emission.
ACTION. Quentin will advise the CICCC about a suitable monitoring regime for the benzene.
ACTION. Carlo will e-mail two pages of the EIP containing updated information about the EIP progress in the last month to agree with the proposed format and content for future reports to Robin.
Robin said that the EIP is a very important document for the CICCC and as such requires careful consideration. The status report of the EIP is proposed to be on the CICCC web site.
ITEM 8. RECENT TERMINALS MATTERS -EMP AMENDMENT
See Attachment 4.
* In answer to Robin’s question Carlo said that
1. The EMP comes from the EPA Licence, and from short term (one year) targets in the EIP. The EMP is a reporting, monitoring and management plan.
2. The EIP will include the longer-term big picture view and state which targets have yet to be reached. It’s key words being Environmental Improvement and therefore actionable items.
* Quentin said that the EPA prefer that everything in the EIP and the EMP be included in the EIP. The published guidelines for the EIP (which includes the EMP) is an all-encompassing document. However Terminals will be keeping the two documents separate and not follow the EPA guidelines on this.
George said that its licence states that they have to upgrade the EMP, EMS and EIP.
* In answer to Ian’s question Robin said that he envisaged that the Waste Management Plan will be part of the EMP. A name change for the EIP would further confuse things.
Bronwyn said that the EIP included voluntary items and the Safety Case included the mandatory / non-voluntary items.
Ian commented that an EIP and an EMP are effectively two expressions describing the same thing. Quentin confirmed that EPA now prefers the expression Environment Improvement Plan (EIP).
ITEM 9. THE TERMINALS’ PTY LTD ENVIRONMENT IMPROVEMENT PLAN
9.1 General comments on the EIP
* Robin has sent to everyone the drafted and redrafted CICCC preamble and EPA response. The EIP would be signed off and not revised for three years. An “Improvement Action Plan” has been suggested as a way of monitoring action on the EIP.
* Bronwyn said the plan could be called ‘Improvement Plan’ if it were to include all
the environmental and safety improvements for the site.
The committee further discussed the different names of the different reports.
* George reminded the CICCC that in 1999 John Brumby in his press release about the Grant Deed had agreed to the Terminals site relocation and the goal of reaching a high standard of operation on the site. The present situation for Terminals is that they do not have an agreement with government however Terminals still aim to achieve &/or exceed ‘the highest feasible standard’ without ‘putting us out of business.’ He said Terminals have been consistent over time about standards and that the only thing that has changed is that the $11,000,000 government grant had gone to a different company and so the process for improvement overall had been slowed down.
Ian said that Terminals have had a change in philosophy. Ian claimed that the CICCC had always been assured that ‘world’s best practice’ would be adopted by the Company. Simply ‘Complying with the law’ as now stated as the intent of the Company is very different to ‘worlds best practice’, he said. Ian sees this as a fundamental shifting in safety and environmental intent which, although uttered by the same person (George) was clearly a reflection of the way the new owners view things and that this was serious indeed.
George said there was no change in Terminals’ position. While there was no requirement on Terminals to do more than “abide by the law”, nevertheless Terminals intend to meet “the highest feasible standards”.
Michael said that sometimes the choices Terminals make for its operations on the Coode Island site are in fact of ‘world’s best practice’ standard.
Robin said that neither Government media releases nor other licences used the words ‘worlds best practice.’ He said that the CICCC minutes show that Terminals have never agreed to ‘worlds best practice’ but aim for ‘continuous improvements.’ In answer to Michael’s comment Robin said that he had quoted John Brumby’s comments in the draft preamble, to set the context for the role of the regulators.
Faye acknowledged that when the HS&E committee were working on the progress table ‘worlds best practice’ had always been resisted. Rather Terminals would report on its preferred plan of action after having researched possible options used overseas.
George suggested that the EIP document include something about ‘the standard.’
9.2 Further advice from George re best available practice for tank stripping
9.3 Training assessments-report
9.5 Groundwater protection-report
One copy of the report was tabled, and discussion on the item was deferred.
ITEM 10. CONFIRMATION OF THE MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING
10 October 2002.
The Draft October Minutes were adopted with the following changes
Item 4 – spelling of Kivelos Nominees corrected.
– “800 metres for from residential development …”
Item 6 – repetition of “Lane and Associates” deleted
Item 7 – “…widen deepen the channels,…”
– “…650,000 new households constructed established…”
ITEM 11. ACTION ITEMS FROM THE PREVIOUS MEETING
10.1 Further advice on the Safety Case (terrorist attack) -HSE Subcommittee
10.2 Draft submission to do on Melbourne 2030 (chair)
10.3 Contact local schools re CICCC web site (chair)
* Robin has drafted a letter and will incorporate any changes suggested by George and Deborah.
ACTION. Robin to obtain comments and finalise and send letters.
ITEM 12. CORRESPONDENCE OUT
* Letters of appreciation to Allan Hugli, Michael Regan and Cameron Fitzgerald
invitation to Peter Hinksman.
ITEM 13. CORRESPONDENCE IN
ITEM 14. OTHER BUSINESS
ITEM 15. AGENDA FOR THE NEXT MEETING (12 December 2002)
See the above ACTION ITEMS above.
Thursday 12 December 2002
Thursday 13 February 2003
CICCC ATTACHMENTS TO DRAFT MINUTES
14 November 2002
Attachment 1 WorkSafe Report, November 2002
Attachment 2 Draft Brochure – ‘Safety at Terminals Storage Facility in Melbourne’
Attachment 3 Terminals Monthly Report – October 2002
Attachment 4 Terminals – EIP Amendment document presentation overheads