COODE ISLAND COMMUNITY CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE
Adopted Minutes of Meeting
Thursday 20 January 2000
Dr. Peter Brotherton
Dr Nick Hardy (DNV Safety Consultant)
ITEM 1. WELCOME BY THE CHAIR
The chairperson welcomed the committee and others in attendance.
ITEM 2. APOLOGIES
ITEM 3. CONFIRMATION OF AGENDA
The draft agenda for the 20 January 2000 meeting was accepted by the CICCC.
Item 7 to be taken before Item 4.
Other Business to include CICCC membership attendance and representation.
ITEM 4. Minutes of the Previous Meeting
The committee adopted the November minutes without amendment.
- Coode Island Committee Update – Robin
See attachment 2.
Ian Gibson reported that the City of Maribyrnong was not going to continue with its current reporting in the local newspaper. They plan to produce their own monthly newsletter that they will circulate to all ratepayers.
ACTION. Robin to look at the future options for newsletter/newspaper publication of CICCC matters.
- Website – Robin
Robin has done lots of work on the CICCC web site. He has hard copies of some pages available for inspection at the meeting.
The following points were made during discussion of the CICCC web site
- The number of hits to the site, is not obtainable yet
2.2`Robin has not received any queries from the public regarding the information on the site
- George tried to find the site using a search engine and he had no success
ACTION. Robin to follow up 2.1 and 2.3 above.
- Information on the web site includes all achievements that have been signed off by the CICCC.
ACTION. Health and Safety Committee are to provide Robin with information previously requested, for inclusion on the web page (ie e Objectives, and report on the Emergency Management Forum).
- Submission on Major Hazard Facilities Regulations 1997 WorkCover brief to DNV
Robin sent copies of the draft to everyone for comment before finalising it and sending it to WorkCover. . A copy of the Submission was circulated to all members.
- Plan of possible Major Hazard Facilities (MHF) Sites – Footscray to Williamstown
George displayed a large map that showed the possible MHF sites in the wider metropolitan area as he saw them. They won’t be classified until the new WorkCover draft legislation is completed. He said they were all quite close to residential areas.
ACTION. Peter Reddie will make smaller copies of the map available at the next CICCC meeting.
- Amounts of dangerous goods kept on the P&O Ports Site on a Daily Basis – Matthew Wylie
See attachment 3
Matthew picked random days – one in Jan, Oct and Nov 1999. There was not a wide scope of hazardous materials. There were flammable liquids and others including sulphur gas and yellow phosphorous. P&O are licensed to store 10,000 tons of dangerous goods material but they were below that. They were storing above the10% threshold in the MHF regulations. They need to be storing over 100% threshold to automatically be a future MHF site under the new draft regulations.
Matthew said that the proposed regulations included assessment of any possible interactive mix of chemicals should they be exposed to one another. Site plans will be required to separate MH products and include the distances measurements of the separation. Dual handling, etc will be illegal.
The Dangerous Goods regulations will continue as they are. The MHF regulations (presently in draft form) will address the matter of major accident prevention.
- HSE Achievements Sign–off on Web Page
The HSE Achievements adopted at the last meeting have been put in final form, and posted on the CICCC web site.
- Hawaii Disaster Warning Plans –Marg Leser
Defer to the next meeting.
- Earthquake History at Coode Island
See attachments 4
Carlo tabled information that he obtained from the web, which covers all earthquake activity in the area since 1997. The closest earthquake was recorded at Mornington but there have been no known tremors at Coode Island.
Robin said that the Victorian Building Codes would probably also cover this issue.
George said that Terminals have not built a new tank on Coode Island, for a long time. The tank design would be based on design codes used in the USA for areas with similar low earthquake activity.
Deborah asked if there could ever be an earthquake in the Melbourne metro area.
George said it could occur.
Robin asked George if he could find out from tank designers just what extra precautions had to be taken for the design of new tanks at Coode Island in regard to earthquake protection.
ACTION. George to report to next meeting.
ITEM 5. Correspondence
- See attachment 5.1 Letter from National Union of Workers
The National Union of Workers have expressed interest in having representation on the CICCC. The following comments were made in the discussions
- there is a need for a union representative local and Statewide levels. The different roles that could be played by a representative from Terminals’ workforce and a union official representing a number of sites at Coode Island was noted.
- a workers representative would be useful
- need people who can attend regularly and so accumulate the information necessary to be a contributing representatives. People who are unable to attend regularly are probably better coming as observers
ACTION. Robin to contact the union by phone, and formally write to the union inviting them to be represented on the CICCC.
5.2 See attachments 5.2 Letter from WorkCover on morbidity effects.
WorkCover advised that they administer the regulation of health effects of benzene (and other chemical) emissions on employees/workers on site, and on impacts – both on site and off site – from major hazards such as explosions.
EPA administers the regulations of health effects associated with emissions from industry, and the Department of Human Services administers the regulations of the general health effects of air quality on the community.
The issue of the scope of the various regulatory regimes will be further clarified during later meetings.
CICCC have not received responses to this letter from the EPA or DHS.
ACTION. Greg said he would make sure that EPA respond before the next meeting.
ACTION. Robin to contact DHS regarding a response to the CICCC’s recent correspondence.
5.3 See attachment 5.3 Submission on MHF Regulations to WorkCover and WorkCover’s response.
Matthew said that while this WorkCover letter was general and did not address the specifics included in the CICCC comments about the draft regulations, it was WorkCover’s intent to correspond further regarding the specifics as they addressed each in turn.
ITEM 6. Western Region Environment Centre (WREC)
See attachment 6.
The Western Region Environment Centre was formed in an initiative of the Werribee Residents Against the Toxic Dump. Cathy said she could Werribee Residents Against the Toxic Dump. Cathy said she could liase between CICCC and WREC.
ITEM 7. Appointment of DNV to undertake a Gap Analyses for the Terminals Plant at Coode island in relation to the major hazard facilities Safety Case requirements.
Dr Nick Hardy (DNV)
See attachments 1, which give a summary of Nick’s presentation.
If people require a full copy of Nick’s report should contact George Horman at Terminals Pty Ltd in Melbourne.
George said that Terminals had to go ahead and appoint a consultant because timelines are very tight before the implementation of the new Regulations for Safety Case requirements. It is expected that it will be 18 months before the Safety Case for Terminals is operating.
According to the consultant’s report some of Terminal’s existing operations exceed the standards required by the draft regulations. The ‘Gap Analysis Report’ indicates those matters which need future modification.
Terminals requested that their consultant address the CICCC tonight.
Nick said he is highly qualified and has worked in this field in many countries.
His belief is that we as a community need to be self sufficient in our management of hazardous materials, rather than driving the industries elsewhere, where they may not be as well scrutinised and managed. He is a fan of safety legislation especially where the behaviour of those operating the site can be scrutinised, as is the case with this new draft legislation.
Risk Management is about continuous improvement. Risk Analysis is presently very adequate at Terminals. Work is required to link possible risks with the most probable areas on the site in which these may occur, and to have a good idea about where any possible problems -‘the big ones’ – will occur in future.
Nick pointed out that Terminal’s Coode Island operations had several inherent factors that would limit the risk to the community. The site is being subjected to considerable scrutiny. Robust corporate guidance based on cumulative experience (especially the hazard management system) is in place. Process operations at the site are relatively straightforward. The workforce is small and experienced. He said that in comparison to the other 5 Major Hazard sites in Melbourne with which he is familiar, Coode Island was ‘relatively remote from residential populations’. A number of committee members firmly disagreed with this proposition. There was discussion about community concerns and fears of possible future major incidents at the site. Marg said that being ‘relatively remote from residential populations’ did not mean that everything was OK. Nick agreed
There has been an improvement in the safety of the site since the authorities wrote the Task Force Report and it is better scrutinised since the 1991 explosion and fires.
“Good safety/risk management requires continuous effort, “it is a journey, not a destination”. Staff (and management) at the site are in the best position to identify hazards/potential major incidents (as the incoming legislation acknowledges) and I have witnessed a tangible commitment to continuous improvement at the site”, Nick said.
He said that he had written the report using the terms of reference required in draft 53 of the legislation. That is using a comparison between safety and fatality rather than safety and morbidity (illness). The requirements are that he assesses the possible effects of what might occur in the first few minutes after an incident (acute effects)and not in the longer term (chronic effects). The draft legislation requires that all possible major hazard incidents for that particular site must be identified.
He said that although this was not his area of expertise, he thought that available research into the longer-term health effects of hazardous materials on populations was negligible at present. He also added that maybe a weakness of this legislation is that it does not address the matter of longer-term affects on populations.
Matthew said the legislation administered by EPA is designed to cover the short and longer-term exposures associated with emissions from industry. (This issue will receive further clarification at future meetings.)
Ian Swann said a good example of this is the monitoring of lead levels in the environment.
Peter Reddie said the report shows Terminals need to develop a Safety Case and there is scope for improvement in some other areas. He said that Terminals want to keep the process of improvement transparent to the CICCC and wondered if the CICCC might like to make some future suggestions regarding the proritising of plans for improvement. He added that this intent was not something that is required by the draft legislation but is rather a policy that Terminals believe is necessary and desirable given the community concern about this matter.
Robin said that CICCC did wish to be involved in the development of plans for the site (and had certainly been so to date) and suggested that it could to through the sub committees of the CICCC. The HSE Sub-Committee could deal with the Safety Management System, the Safety assessment and studies, and the Safety Case documentation, while the EM Sub-Committee could deal with the Emergency Plan. The Committee approved this suggestion.
ACTION. To meet the tight timelines required, Peter Reddie will brief the chairs of the CICCC sub committees regarding the ongoing developments (in the form of Draft reports, etc) for the Terminals Safety Case. The sub committees will assess the briefs and advise Terminals accordingly. The CICCC will be kept advised about these matters at its monthly meetings, and will need to ratify the work of the Sub-Committees.
George said that the final draft of the legislation would probably be completed about March 2000. He said he will also talk to other Risk Analysis consultants about the detail of the proposed Terminals Safety Case Plan.
Terminals and WorkCover are presently discussing
- proposed new systems at the site (possible best options)
- what improvements are needed to those facilities presently existing on the site
- Peter Reddie confirmed that the discussions were based on the Task Force recommendations, with Terminals occupying land to the west of MacKenzie Road. The propylene oxide tanks would require relocation.
Ian T said that the tanks should not move. Ian offered to prepare a presentation for the CICCC regarding the above matter.
Deborah asked Nick about his experience of other countries processes for community consultation is similar industries. He said that only 4 or 5 other countries have similar legislation.
He said that all this information could be difficult to communicate to the community.
Robin said that an important aspect which had been demonstrated by everyone’s involvement on the CICCC, is that when time is taken to explain the complexities of this sort of information, trust between the parties develops.
Deborah said that in her recent thesis she found that there are very few processes that can not be grasped by the community if sufficient time and resources were allocated.
Peter B said that it is this committees main objective to make sure the information is understood by the community at large.
Nick agreed that this legislation would help because ‘everyone has to get involved’.
Ted said that over the years there have been incidents where operators have been burnt to death when handling hazardous materials. He obtained from a number of different sources, statistics about wind velocities and directions in the Coode Island area. He said the information shows that wind velocity will not be a problem for residents because the main wind directions actually take any airborne materials away from the residential areas. He said he thought the CICCC should further investigate this material.
Robin said winds are mainly from the West and are blowing away from Kensington.
Ted said that there had been 2 evacuations of residents in the area in recent times. He said the cause of one of the evacuations had been incorrectly reported as an incident attributed to the Terminal’s site.
Faye said that the EPA has information about the winds in the bay and the levels of common pollutants. (eg. CO, CO2, oxides of nitrogen, SO2, ozone and particulates). Peter B said the information did not include information on rare toxins. There was some discussion about whether or not the eddies which circulate should also be considered.
Greg said that the information covered levels of commonly measured pollutants. The closest measuring station to Footscray is in Paisley Street.
ACTION. Greg will have a look at these reports and report to the CICCC.
ITEM 8. Terms of reference for effectiveness review.
See attachment 7.
Robin tabled a work plan compiled following the CICCC review of achievements in July 1999.
The CICCC discussed the matter of a review in 2000. The following comments were made
- the next review should be more formal and be made by an outside consultant. Funding should be sought for this.
- we should be getting on with the job we have before us and not spend valuable time on more assessments. There have already been delays of 6 months with the change over of governments and the Xmas period. It is now 10 years since the fire at Coode Island and there is still a great deal to do.
- we can be reviewed while continuing to do the work of the CICCC
- we are working very effectively, do we need to be told that?
- an outside review could be very affirming
- we have made progress in the last 12 months but from a low base line. We may find we need to change direction a little.
- we need to be clear about what we mean by the term ‘effective’
- we need to consider why it is that some people/groups are no longer participating in the CICCC, and should we be working to get them back?
- if an external review is done, it should be confined to 2 or 3 days work, and have a budget in the order of $2000 to $3000.
- there is value in getting external verification of the Committee’s work (a professional check)
- an external verification could confirm the way ahead.
- what have Terminals gained by the existence of CICCC?
- what have members (both community representatives and organisations) and the community gained from the work of the CICCC
- why don’t residents come to our meetings?
ACTION. Ian Swann will contact John Bailey about who could do a short and sharp external review of CICCC.
ACTION. Faye will do a questionnaire about this issue, for CICCC members to complete and return to her before the next meeting.
ACTION. Agenda further discussion of this at the next meeting.
ITEM 9. Agenda for next meeting
- effectiveness review
- report on responses from Human Services and EPA
- Manchester Agreement Concept —application at Coode Island (paper to be prepared by Ian Thomas)
- Emergency Management subcommittee report held over from 24 Nov
- EHS Sub-committee report
- Presentation on Dangerous Goods Regulations (WorkCover)
ITEM 10. Other Business
- Ian commended the WorkCover Authority for their inclusion of information about the cause of the Coode Island fire in the Regulatory Impact Statement attached to the draft MHF Regulations Report.
- Deborah asked if it is likely that the Terminals site on Coode Island will ever be relocated.
Peter said that Terminals were following the recommendations of the Task Force Report. However within the next few weeks he expects that the new Labor Government will make a statement about whether or not it will support the findings and recommendations of the Task Force Report that was developed during the Kennett Government period.
- Robin will write to Robert Galvich to express the CICCC’s appreciation of the work he contributed and to invite him to continue his membership of the HSE subcommittee.
- Peter Reddie reported that the Geelong City Council have rejected Terminals application to extend the approval to expand their Geelong site to include the storage of caustic soda, lubricating oils, etc. This application had been approved 2 years ago, but construction had not commenced. Terminals applied for an extension to the duration of the permit, which Geelong City Council has refused. Terminals are considering an appeal through VCAT.
- Marg suggest that as Coode Island operation could potentially interest residents in more than 2 councils, we should consider representation from those other councils too. Maybe they could attend every three months and be briefed by the CICCC.
Robin said that Ian Gibson representing Maribyrnong City Council had made three reports to CICCC in the past 12 months, which had been a sizeable effort. We need to consider the most effective way that Councils can contribute.
Cathy said that at the City of Moonee Valley some councillors were pushing for Terminals at Coode Island to be relocated.
Peter B said that 2 councils had originally auspiced the CICCC. He thinks that council input to the CICCC is essential.
Robin said that maybe 5 councils could be specifically targeted in future, and this issue may well be an important part of the Effectiveness Review.
ACTION. This matter should be addressed by the Effectiveness Review.
- Terminals Monthly Report.
See Attachment 8.
January was a very quiet month and December was very busy.
Faye asked if matters concerning improvements to road tanker design were ever fed back to the manufacturers and designers of the tankers.
Carlo said that manufacturers followed a design Standard. There were technical sub committees associated with these Standards who constantly improve the design of road transport tankers. A Terminal’s employee always accompanies external drivers on the Terminals site. Drivers visiting the site now have an induction session when visiting the Terminals site. Ian said this was not the case on some other MH sites in Victoria.
Peter Reddie said the tank incidents were usually maintenance issues where the employees do not follow rules. This was the case recently when a rubber seal was being replaced and there was an escape of a very odorous material from an Ethyl Acrylate tank. The opening was not covered by the worker, as it should have been.
There are still problems with the carbon beds. They operate at an 85% efficiency at the early stages of product delivery, which is within the required limits. They are monitored every morning and afternoon. They are undersized and have other inherent problems. Sensors indicate when the beds are not operating efficiently.
New beds cost $16,000 per bed. Terminals use what is available within the required grade of carbon. Terminals are now spending more on Carbon rather than on waste disposal. The carbon is then used as land fill. It is a choice of disposing of 4 cubic metres of carbon bed or of regenerating liquid waste.
Peter Reddie said that Terminals are using 1970’s technology and making the best of what they have.
The benzine emissions are 14 tons /annum or averages at 28 grams/minute with large peaks and troughs in the emission rates.
Faye said that a license to operate is not to be used to excuse excesses in emission rates.
Greg said that the EPA has been working with Terminals for 18 months to improve these emission rates. One improvement is that ships now have the unloading pressures reduced so that there is less likelihood of unwanted emissions. EPA will be looking for waste minimisation in the new plans for redevelopment of the site.
Terminals are looking at 5 or 6 different technologies for handling benzine but there is also the need to handle other chemicals. Other technologies include
- thermal oxidation
- floating roofs
- Deborah suggested that other community newspapers should be given CICCC monthly updates. The Melbourne Times and Community News are two that could be considered.
- Marg raised the issue of the need for more representation from the Committee on sub-committees. Deborah volunteered to go on the Emergency Management Sub-Committee.
Next meetings Thursday 24 February
Thursday 23 march
CICCC ATTACHMENTS TO MINUTES January 2000
Attachment 1 Overheads used for presentation by Dr Nick Harvey. (These come as an e-mailed attachment for those with e-mail)
Attachment 2 Draft for November Update article for CICCC
Attachment 3 Summary, P&O major hazard materials storage on Coode
Attachment 4 Seismology Information
Attachment 5.1 Correspondence National Union of Workers
5.2 Correspondence from WorkCover 22 December 1999
Attachment 6 Enviro West
Attachment 7 CICCC Workplan Status
Attachment 8 Terminals Monthly Operations Report
** These attachments will be sent by post to those who have received e-mailed minutes.