Thursday 5 April 2001
Robin Saunders CICCC chair person
Ian Thomas community rep./ committee
Ted Towson community rep./ committee
John Luppino City of Maribyr, GM City Dev /committee
Jarrod Edwards WorkCover / committee
Dr Peter Brotherton Combined Enviro. Groups / committee
George Horman Terminals Pty Ltd / committee
Michael Isaachsen community rep./committee
Faye Simpson community rep./ committee
Cameron Fitzgerald Environ. Protec Authy / ex off committee
Peter Reddie Gen Manager Terminals / committee
Gordon Harrison City of Melbourne / committee
Murray Frank Dept. Human Serv, W Region / committee
Jim Clements Environ. Protec Auth
Trevor Perkins commander /MF&ESB/ex off comm
Jennifer Lourie WorkCover
Martin Jones CEO, PACIA
Leo Van Der Toorren Office of Emerg. Serv. Commissioner
Wayne Bergin Environ. Protec Auth
Keith Smithers Environ. Protec Auth
Theo Pykoulas City of Mariby MERO
Bill Keon City of Melbourne MERO
Sergeant Bill Weatherly Footscray Police Station
Vanessa Richardson minute taker
ITEM 1. WELCOME BY THE CHAIR
The chairperson welcomed the committee members and others in attendance including Martin Jones, Leo Van Der Toorren, Bill Weatherly, Wayne Bergin and Jennifer Lourie.
ITEM 2. APOLOGIES
Apologies were received from Matthew Wylie, Deborah Macfarlane, Ian Swann and Carlo Fasolino.
ITEM 3. CONFIRMATION OF THE AGENDA
The Draft Agenda was adopted.
ITEM 4. EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION (LEO VAN DER TOORREN AND SERGEANT BILL WEATHERLY)
Leo said that the Office of Emergency Services Commissioner is a new body that has been in existence since June 2000. It is an initiative of the government aimed to promote community awareness about the safety services available to the community. It is part of the Department of Justice. It works in partnership with the communities.
He said that the delivery of public warning information is the responsibility of the Police Department and that emergency plans are formulated at a local level.
The Ferny Creek Trial was developed as a result of the Coroner’s Recommendation and requests from residents that something be done to protect them in the fire prone area in which they reside. The Trial looked specifically at the process of engaging the community in the development of this plan.
Local Government took a leading role where the 3 Mayors of the associated municipalities chaired meetings. Community education around policy directions formed a large part of the Trial.
A final report is expected in June 2001 and will include a proposed model that could be used for other interactive community emergency management systems. Models from interstate, Canada and the USA have been studied for their suitability in the Australian context. Each new system will need to be tailored to the specific needs of each community.
There is a need to balance resources and goals. He said that a number of systems had for instance used radio station contact but this was not suited to the Ferny Creek project because the topography of the area resulted in some poor coverage for some spots. So they have installed more appropriate technology including
Peter Reddie asked if this government program could assist with the proposed Coode Island plan and Leo said there was scope for combined participation.
Bill said that the role of the police in such exercises was to co-ordinate all the controlling bodies to ensure they have what they need to complete their specific tasks in an emergency.
He said it was not appropriate to include the Footscray Police details on the fridge magnets and he alerted the committee to the fact that they have only 4 telephone lines operating at any time. Sometimes there can be a wait of up to half an hour before the police operator answers a call. He added that the best contact numbers to highlight are Intergraph on phone number 11444 (000 is still a valid emergency phone number). He said that the Intergraph office will know of any emergency before the Footscray Police Station. The only system in Maribyrnong is one activated by the MERO at Footscray. Radio 3WRB was sanctioned to broadcast relevant local emergency information.
Michael asked if it was illegal for private enterprises in the Footscray area to sound alarms which might unnecessarily alarm and distress local residents.
Bill said he did not know the answer to Michael’s question but he said that Kevin Shea had further information about these issues.
Robin thanked Leo and Bill for their excellent presentations.
He tabled the letters from the CICCC which were sent on the 19 March 2001 to the relevant Government bodies re the matter of local community emergency plans for the Coode Island local communities.
See Attachment 1.
No replies have been received.
Michael said that he was not convinced that radio 3WRB will get the necessary information the community are wanting about whether or not there is a real emergency. He asked if the Fire Authorities would have this sort of information in a reliable format.
Trevor said that they would have such information if the incident was significant.
Peter Brotherton said the MFB’s response to the CICCC committee’s correspondence of the 19 March was going to be critical.
Peter Reddie said that Terminals had written to 11 other companies in the Coode Island area, suggesting that they too notify 3WRB in the case of any emergencies or false alarms. Only 2 of the 11 companies agreed to participate. Support from industry is essential if these plans are to work. He suggested using 000-phone number and information on 3WRB as the main contact sources for community information.
Leo said that phoning 000 would connect people to a Telstra call centre equipped to transfer (only) people to emergency services. It was not equipped to give any information to callers. He said the same was true for the 11444 Intergraph number.
Trevor agreed and added that the police department set up systems with 1800 numbers to specifically provide information about events of community concern. All radio stations advertise the relevant 1800 numbers. However this 1800 resource is only made available for large-scale concerns. He said that a local initiative was required for the smaller incidents as in the Footscray area. He suggested that agreed and formatted-recorded phone messages could be used when required including a message that says there is ‘no problem’ when this is required. He agreed that other companies need to participate and he said it must be recognised that any system like this does not always work. It is therefore important that these types of systems be exercised with the community so that they are well practised before any possible real emergencies eventuate. He said legislative requirements may be necessary.
Robin said it was probably necessary for ‘statutory muscle’ to be used to get the necessary results for the community.
Faye said that the all the authorities involved in emergency service provision should show appropriate concern through the provision of core emergency operational strategies to the community in areas where hazardous materials are handled. From the core strategies provided, the community could then develop their own systems.
The CICCC did not reach a conclusion on the discussion.
ITEM 5. BRIEF REPORT FROM AGENCIES AND TERMINALS ON KEY ISSUES INCLUDING THE MARSTEL INITIATIVE
Jim reported that in March, P&O Ports made 33 complaints about Terminals operations to the EPA. Two of these investigations resulted in EPA serving $5000 penalty infringement notices on Terminals for discharge of offensive odours beyond the boundary. A Minor Works Pollution Abatement Notice was also issued on 23 March, requiring an audit report before the 30 March. This report has been received and the EPA has met with Terminals to discuss the required improvements that have been directed by the EPA .
In particular improvements are needed in the handling of ethyl acrylate. The EPA has also conducted a joint meeting with WorkCover to determine the cause of the escalation of reported incidents. Others involved in meetings with the EPA include P&O Ports and the unions, especially the VRTA and MUA.
The EPA had EPA officers ‘on site’ to monitor the situation at P&O Ports from 9.00 am to 5:00 pm daily for two weeks, and established an after hours ‘call-out’ service during those two weeks. The EPA also laid charges against Terminals for an air pollution infringement on the 28 December 2000
Jim said the EPA believes that Terminals have planned to make the necessary positive changes to remedy this problem in the future.
Peter Brotherton noted that prior to March 2001there had been very few incident reports since 1991.
Jim said that since 1996 when the Complaints Register was initiated, there had been anything from 0-3 incidents in most months. Then there were 33 in March 2001.
Jim said that the P&O employees made the complaints and he said the EPA staff had also experienced the nauseous effects of the vapours.
Peter Reddie said that Terminals engaged an auditor to make a detailed report about the problem. This will be tabled and discussed at the next meeting of the CICCC. Ethyl acrylate has a high PI factor (500,000) which means neighbours can feel its effects more so than other hazardous materials with lower PI factors. For example, methyl acrylate has a PI factor of 2,000. The ethyl acrylate tank from which the problems arose is in Plant C on the boundary with the P&O site.
Peter Reddie advised the Committee that the recent incidents had arisen from a combination of factors. These include low levels of ethyl acrylate in the storage tank, and large temperature differences between day and night times. Both these factors contribute to an increase in the volume of ethyl acrylate vapour emitted through the tank vent, placing a larger load on the vapour emission control system. On Wednesday evening the ethyl acrylate storage was moved from site C to site B so that it is no longer on the boundary with the P&O site. Terminals are now using only one tank to store the ethyl acrylate rather than 2 tanks, which has halved the problem. This system is now being tested to make sure it will operate effectively.
Peter Brotherton said that after the fire in 1991 there were 180,000 cubic metres of tankage space on the site. At that time there were discussions about how the volume of storage and vapour spaces could be reduced. The Coode Island Review Panel recommended that tanks be commingled so that overall tank sizes could be reduced. In general, enthusiasm for this idea over time seems to have wanned. Peter said he was pleased to see in this recent instance that this measure has been adopted. The result is that the problem is then halved by putting material usually stored in 2 tanks into one commingled tank. If in the future there are two separate storage providers for the same material, the likelihood of commingling is further reduced.
Jim said the EPA has recently had confidential discussion with Marstel as a possible 2nd operator in competition to Terminals.
Peter Reddie said that Terminals signed a formal agreement with the government on 18 February 2000 which included terms relating to both the Works Approval for the upgrade, and Terminals securing commercial pricing agreements with its customers for storage at the upgraded facility into the future.
A financial model was developed and the model negotiated with the customers and the final version was put to customers in Jan 2001. Terminal’s customers had visibility to the model and the 20-year lease arrangement. The commercial offers were made by Terminals in February and were rejected by some customers on the 12 March. Following the 12 March rejection, Terminals were informed of Marstel’s involvement.
“We exceeded the government cut-off date of 28 February for pricing agreements to be presented to the regulating bodies, and so the grant deed has lapsed for the redevelopment which includes the BP site on the 28 February.” Peter advised. Terminals have 7 hectares on Coode Island including the 3 hectares on the BP site which is now in doubt.
Peter Reddie said he thought a Marstel development would cost more to build than the Terminals proposal to revamp its existing site. He added that it would be premature to think that Terminals have definitely lost the use of the BP site to Marstel rather, the BP site is now open for competitive tender.
Ian Thomas said it was vital that the community be made aware quickly of the new Marstel proposal and that Terminals inform the CICCC of their plans.
Robin said that the upgrade at the Terminals site has stalled for the past 3 weeks and the community will be wanting to know what is happening in the future with the proposed 50 million dollar upgrade.
Gordon said he would prefer a CICCC opinion about the Marstel proposal, before briefing the Melbourne City Council about the issue. Developments on Coode Island require City of Melbourne planning approvals.
The CICCC then discussed in detail its possible role in the future if other possible operators like Terminals require the input of a community consultative committee. A variety of views were expressed about the possible benefits and problems associated with CICCC working with other operators on Coode Island in the way it has worked with Terminals.
Marstel recently contacted Jim, Gordon, Robin, and Peter Brotherton with a request for advice on how best Marstel might engage the community in discussions about their proposal.
The following 4 possible options for meetings with Marstel were discussed
- The CICCC not meet formally with Marstel, but that Marstel’s be asked to initiate a meeting by issuing invitations to members, or
- The majority of the CICCC to meet with Marstel, or
3.The community representatives (only) on the CICCC to meet with Marstel
- The CICCC to not meet formally with Marstel, but individuals on the CICCC make approaches to Marstel and meet with them as necessary.
Martin Jones noted that Marstel were not a member of PACIA. PACIA members say that
‘responsible care in this industry equals the community’s right to know’.
ACTION. The CICCC decided to adopt Option 1. The CICCC will write to Marstel and invite them to organise an informal meeting. Motion carried.
ITEM 6. CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING OF 8 MARCH 2001
The minutes were confirmed and adopted.
ITEM 7. ACTION ITEMS FROM THE PREVIOUS MEETINGS
10.1 Note taking arrangements, chairing of meetings.
The existing note taking arrangements will continue.
Ian Thomas said that there would be no further debate about the chair. His views had been put on record.
10.2 Advice received from Dr Brian Robinson, Chairman EPA in January 2001
Robin said a letter has been received from the EPA confirming all the extraneous issues have been dealt with and the CICCC will now monitor these in the future.
As the licence conditions are formulated they will be publicly declared and the CICCC can comment.
Faye added that the health issues had not been dealt with and she is working with Terminals to address aspects of this.
ACTION. The CICCC accepted with reservations the letters from the Chairman of EPA dated 24 and 22 January 2001 (see attachments to Minutes of 8 February meeting)
10.3 Tools used by industry to communicate with neighbouring communities (Ian Swann)
10.4 Future directions
See Attachment 2
Priorities have been added to the list of revised objectives and the shared expectations.
ACTION. Adopted by the CICCC
10.5 Media Release, web site
See Attachment 3.
10.6 Meeting schedule beyond April 2001
ADOPTED MEETING DATES 2001–2002
10.7 Report by EPA on benzene GLCs
In general the levels of benzene around Coode Island are low. The highest were found in the car park beside the benzene tanks and levels of 8ppb was recorded when a ship was unloading.
Ian Thomas asked why the EPA had insisted in the Works Approval Application that Terminals lower their benzene levels from 270 kilos a year to 90 kilos a year?
Jim said that the reading had to go as low as is possible to achieve. Terminals knew of this policy before their Works Approval Application was made.
Robin said that he didn’t think it was possible to compare measured 24-hour readings with proposed 1 hour ‘intervention levels’ in the absence of supporting data.
Keith said that a Visible Light Spectrometer will soon be detecting chemical levels minute by minute in a visible light beam which stretches 400 metres from Coode Island across the river to the other side.
10.8 Safety Case (Terminals – proposed public consultation on acrylonitrile and propylene oxide pilot study)
Continuing to develop this but deferred to the next meeting.
10.9 Worst Case Scenario – consultants brief (HSE Sub-committee)
See Attachment 4
Close to finalisation.
ACTION. See note No 8 and change the word ‘permit’ to ‘enable’.
ACTION. Ian Thomas moved that the above report be adopted.
Seconded by Faye Simpson.
Adopted by the CICCC
The brief will be sent to the four consultants, with a covering letter signed by the chair.
10.10 Facility Improvement Table (Terminals)
George said he would not do any more work on the graph but will provide the table of information that was previously discussed by the CICCC to Robin to put on the CICCC web site.
ITEM 8. CORRESPONDENCE OUT
- Letter to the Minister for Planning (14 Feb 2001) previously circulated to everyone
- Letters to CEO, MF & ESB; Maribyrnong City Council; WorkCover; Officer-in- Charge, Footscray Police Station.
See Attachment 1
ITEM 9. CORRESPONDENCE IN
- Victorian Channel Authority 26 Feb 2001 (2 letters)
See Attachment 5
- Cathy Aktipis’ resignation
ITEM 10. EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT STRATEGY (ROBIN)
Included with Item 4. Responses from MF&ESB, Maribyrnong City Council and WorkCover awaited.
ITEM 11. GROUNDWATER AND SITE SOIL SURVEY (EPA AND TERMINALS)
Defer to the next meeting
ITEM 12. Monthly report from Terminals.
Apology from Carlo and deferred to the next meeting.
ITEM 13. Agenda for the next meeting. 10 May 2001
- Deferred matters from tonight’s meeting.
- Ross Petersen, Director, Major Projects Unit, Department of State and Regional Development will be invited to address the CICCC on the status of redevelopments at Coode Island.
EM 14. OTHER BUSINESS
Robin asked the CICCC what they want to have included in the next CICCC Press Release.
ACTION. Include the following matters in the Press Release
- Record levels of ethyl acrylate odours
- Marstel proposal to be approached cautiously as it may have wider ramifications for the community.
- Potential for delays of the Terminals upgrade on Coode Island
Ian Thomas said that the VCAT Directions Hearing was set down for 12 April (to be confirmed). The hearing is to determine the legitimacy of the appeal.
Thursday 10 May 2001
Thursday 14 June 2001
CICCC ATTACHMENTS TO DRAFT MINUTES
5 April 2001
Attachment 1 Correspondence ‘OUT’
– Peter Akers (MFES), 19 March 2001
– Barry Durham (WorkCover), 19 March 2001
– John Luppino (Maribyrnong City council), 19 March 2001
– Inspector Holloway (Footscray Police Station), 19 March 2001
Attachment 2 CICCC Future Directions
Attachment 3 CICCC Media Release
Attachment 4 HSE Sub-Committee. Tender Brief – Worst Case Scenario
Attachment 5 Correspondence ‘IN’
– Victorian Channel Authority 26 Feb 2001 (2 letters)