Thursday 8 February 2001
Robin Saunders CICCC chair person
John Luppino City of Maribyr, GM City Dev /committee
Matthew Wylie WorkCover/ex off committee
Deborah Macfarlane community rep./ committee
Ian Thomas community rep./ committee
Ted Towson community rep./ committee
Carlo Fasolino Op. Manager Terminals P.Ltd./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
Jim Clements Environ. Protec Auth
Trevor Perkins Commander MF& ESB/ex off committee
Alister Young—for Item 4 Terminals/NUW
Anthony Cordier—for Item 4 Terminals/NUW
Esmond Curnow—for Item 4 National Union of Workers
Vanessa Richardson minute taker
ITEM 1. WELCOME BY THE CHAIR
The chairperson welcomed the committee members and the representatives of the National Union of Workers in attendance.
ITEM 2. APOLOGIES
Apologies were received from Gordon Harrison, Peter Reddie, Murray Franks and Councillor Cuc Lam.
ITEM 3. CONFIRMATION OF THE AGENDA
The Draft Agenda was adopted.
See Attachment 1.
‘The Hindenburg Disaster’ paper tabled for inclusion with the minute attachments.
ITEM 4. NATIONAL UNION OF WORKERS (NUW) – Esmond Curnow, Alister Young and Tony Cordier)
Robin said that since the last meeting he had received notification from the NUW that some workers and union members at Terminals Pty Ltd had concerns about some of the content of the CICCC Minutes of 12 October 2000. The union believed that some comments could be seen as ‘a slight on members’ and they wanted those remarks withdrawn from the minutes. Robin said reassuringly that the CICCC does not wish to intrude on union matters and so has asked Esmond Curnow (NUW) to present the worker’s concerns to the CICCC tonight.
Esmond said that the NUW supports the work of the CICCC. He said that while the CICCC has the responsibility to examine issues that may potentially be of concern for the community, the CICCC had ‘crossed the line’ when it questioned employee’s potential cognitive abilities when dealing with dangerous goods. He said that this was a ‘private matter’ and one that is sorted out by the employer and the contractor of labour. The workers are required to comply with the law and they have appropriate training in this area. He asked that the offending notes be removed from the October minutes.
Robin said that the CICCC wished to maintain a harmonious working relationship with the union and the CICCC agreed that the notes which were seen as offending workers at Terminals be removed.
ACTION. The above action was moved by Ian Thomas and seconded by Deborah. It was adopted unanimously by the CICCC.
ITEM 5. BRIEF REPORT FROM AGENCIES AND TERMINALS ON KEY ISSUES
Cameron from the EPA, said that since the last meeting the EPA had received 2 letters from the CICCC which had been answered. Following referral of those recommendations made by Prof Ian Rae which were outside the scope of the Works Approval (to the Department of Infrastructure, Maribyrnong City Council, WorkCover and VicRoads) EPA has received a response from VicRoads.
ACTION Cameron will send the Vic Roads response to Robin.
The sampling of ground level readings of benzene on Coode Island has finished and the results are being interpreted.
ACTION. Cameron will report on this at the next meeting.
There will also be results for continuous OPSIS readings for benzene, toluene and xylene available shortly.
In the past 2 months the EPA have received 2 odour complaints due to activities at the Terminals site.
The Works Approval for the upgrade was finalised on the 1/12/00. No appeals were lodged by the due date of 22 December 2000.
Matthew reported that WorkCover have been working on the Safety Case outline for the past 2 months. The VWA and the MFB have collaborated in producing the final feedback notes to Terminals. The license will be reviewed when the Fire Safety report is finalised.
George said that the Safety Case was something that would be required by the department independent of the redevelopment of the Terminals site. Terminals have been working on the Safety Cases for the Coode Island and Geelong sites.
Robin asked how Terminals proposed to keep the CICCC informed about the Fire and Safety Case matters on Coode Island?
George said that Terminals could make available to the CICCC the documentation presented to WorkCover and the amendments provided by the authority.
ACTION. Presentation of the content of the safety case to be further discussed at the next CICCC meeting.
Trevor said as reported by Matthew that the MFB have worked jointly with WorkCover to develop comments on the Fire Safety review.
The MFB are redeveloping their guidelines for the Emergency Plans covered by the new storage and handling regulations.
The MFB have added a Scientific Officer to the MFB Dangerous Goods Department and they are about to employ an engineer. This expertise was previously contracted in as required.
See Attachment 2
John Luppino said that the Planning Scheme controls to protect the EPA buffer area in Footscray and Yarraville opposite Coode Island would probably not be agenda for discussion by the Maribyrnong City Council for another 2 years, but in the meantime the council will continue to deal with applications for residential and caretaker accommodation as it has been doing currently, ie they will be opposed by council. Council has been successfully negotiating with developers to delete caretaker residences from their proposals.
In response to a suggestion that defacto caretakers did occur, John said that the council had not received any complaints of any defacto arrangements where caretakers were residing on sites within the buffer area.
George said that it was equally important that the area be safe for people working within the area.
Faye asked if the area south of the bridge was likely to be used in future for commercial development?
John said the MCC would oppose any proposed residential development in that area if it were submitted for planning approval.
ACTION. George said he will check with the Melbourne Port Authority about the likely future land use for that section of the port.
George said that the container storage areas on Coode Island would extend to Footscray Road.
Robin said that the State Planning Scheme for the port does not require public notification/presentation of proposed changes to any future land use or development of the port. He said this was not the case for developments in other areas in Victoria other than the port. For instance any proposed developments like a block of flats anywhere in the state was available for public comment before final approvals are given. However this process did not need to be followed for a 50 million-dollar development like Terminals on Coode Island because it was within the Melbourne Port area. He added that the Minister and the Department do have the discretion to make public any proposed developments within the port area.
John said that Section 52 states that proposed changes in the port area must be advertised publicly if they are likely to cause material detriment.
Robin said he thought the port authority could override this.
Peter Brotherton suggested that the CICCC write to the Minister for Planning and Health noting the public’s concern about this.
ACTION. Robin to write a letter to the Minister noting the concerns of the CICCC regarding the lack of public notification regarding proposed new developments in the port area. Robin will consult with Peter and John.
George said that Terminals had received an odour complaint from P&O Ports on the 28 December 2000. The odour was due to the failure of the Vapour Emission Control System (carbon bed). The particular problem has not occurred before. Terminals are spending $40,000 to prevent the same problem occurring again. This system has already had $400,000 spent on upgrades. It will become redundant during the redevelopment of the site.
Peter Reddie has been reviewing the cost of the CICCC. In particular he is wanting to reduce the cost of the minute taking which is currently approximately $7,000 p/a. He is suggesting that Terminal’s staff take over the mailout of attachments to the minutes and so help reduce costs by about $2,000. A further saving would be made if Terminals staff wrote the minutes of the CICCC meetings.
Some suggestions from the CICCC included
- concern about the amount of control Terminals have of the CICCC
- should Terminals be engaged to do any of the CICCC work. This may become more of an issue when difficult issues need to be dealt with appropriately.
- more documents and letters could be e-mailed rather than photocopied and posted.
- could the meetings be taped using 2 tapes (several members advised that taping meetings led to other problems and expense).
ACTION. CICCC to further discuss this matter at the next meeting.
ITEM 6. CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING OF 9 NOV ‘00
The minutes were adopted with the following amendments
- On page 3
Remove… ‘and a small spill containment bund will be provided.’
- On page 4
Recommendation 9. Replace “propylene oxide” by “benzene”. Insert “continually” before “monitor” in second sentence.
- At top of page 5, revise first sentence to read “Ian Thomas said that Terminals had previously undertaken to meet world’s best practice for safety and the environment, and so it has no alternative but to do so.”
In the para on page 5 commencing “Ian Thomas said that his submission had not been considered at all.” delete “exact” in third sentence.
- on page 6 insert after “Michael said that Professor Rae had noted his concerns” the phrase “about road transport”. Replace “High Street” by “Hyde Street” in two places. Replace “Abolishment” by “Abatement”.
- on page 7
Insert immediately above “Ian Thomas said that a personal appeal…” a new sentence as follows “The Committee does not intend to appeal the Works Approval.”
ITEM 7. EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT STRATEGY (DEBORAH AND PETER REDDIE)
There have been further discussions about what is required to be disseminated to the community to inform them of the most appropriate actions they should take if they hear sirens and are concerned that there might be a major hazard event in their area. The proposal is to have a fridge magnet and a ‘safe haven’ poster.
George said they were having trouble determining the best phone number to use on the information for all ‘after hours’ information and especially if the radio station has not been notified of any incident.
Robin suggested that the Maribyrnong city MIRO number could be used for after-hours information as the MIRO will be informed by the fire services of any real threats.
Robin said that this CICCC action item needed to be finalised urgently.
ACTION. John will check with council regarding the possible use of the MIRO’s phone number for after hours resident’s enquires about alarms or other activities that may be alerting them to a possible hazard event in their community, and will advise Peter Reddie.
Faye told the CICCC that Ferny Creek in the Dandenongs has recently set up a community emergency plan.
Trevor said the Dandenong’s plan was designed to cope with any possible bush fire emergencies which meant it was different to the requirements in the Footscray area.
ACTION. Trevor will pass on the information about the Dandenong plan to George.
He said that the fire authorities could not be asked to notify the local radio station as the fire authorities already have many decisions to make and activities to co ordinate when a fire is reported. He said that local authorities were probably better positioned to inform the local public.
George said that Terminals were hoping that other industries in the area would join with Terminals to develop and implement this plan.
Robin suggested that the CICCC and the Maribyrnong Council urge companies in the Coode Island region to cooperate with the development the community information package. Jim said that there were statutory mechanisms available to compel companies to cooperate.
ACTION. Jim said he will investigate the EPA’s inter agency requirements and report on this to the CICCC at its next meeting.
ACTION. Peter is asked to finalise this initiative, and to e-mail all the CICCC members regarding the details of the finalisation of this, in the coming month.
George said the following steps need to be finalised before the proposal can be given to other companies in the region
- In the event that there is a disaster, the following steps need to be taken…(to be completed).
- Residents need to be given the following information…..(to be completed).
The Dangerous Goods Regulations require that companies include this information in their plans. The Emergency Plan states clearly ‘what events’ should be notified to the authorities and ‘who’ should be notified. The operator on duty at the site has the responsibility to do this.
Matthew said there is a written framework within which they make these decisions.
ACTION. Matthew will assist with practical setting up of this community information package plan.
ITEM 8. REPORT FROM THE HSE SUBCOMMITTEE
Worst Case Scenarios
The sub-committee have reduced the previously discussed list to the following 4 scenarios
- Acrylonitrile spill unignited
- Smoke from a large bund fire
- Acrylonitrile or benzene spill or fire on board a ship
- Toxic/flammable acrylonitrile truck incident in a residential area
Robin asked if the action item from the minutes of the meeting on 9 November had been completed?
Ian said that a consultant was required to be appointed for that work and that Carlo was getting quotes for this.
Robin said the CICCC wanted a report from the sub-committee first, which would include a draft Consultant brief.
ACTION. Complete a draft Consultant Brief and circulate by e-mail to CICCC members this coming month.
Residual Risk Matrix
The Sub-Committee has developed a Residual Risk Rating based on a simplified procedure. It gives an average risk control measure so that different substances can be compared. Preliminary results indicate that the Terminals site on Coode Island has so far achieved 80% of a possible world’s best practice rating for each chemical stored on the Island.
Faye said that a statistician’s verification of these figures was required.
Robin said the CICCC would be keen to consider a written report on the developing methodology.
ACTION. Matthew will offer comments regarding this matter at the next meeting.
ITEM 9. MONTHLY REPORT FROM TERMINALS (CARLO)
See Attachment 5
Carlo tabled reports for Nov and Dec 2000 and for Jan 2001.
George detailed recent expenditure by Terminals on the facility. Robin summarised that Terminals have spent more than $500,000 for short term improvements to the present site since the decision to redevelop the site a year ago. These upgrades will be come redundant when the redevelopment is implemented. George said that Terminals have also been hit with a ten-fold increase in penalty costs incurred from the authorities. He said it is very important to Terminals Pty Ltd that it show the public through its actions that it is capable of highly responsible management of such a site. He added that they are very keen to establish the redeveloped site. At this stage
- The Planning Approval and Works Approval are complete
- They have Dangerous Goods Storage and Handling Approval
- Leases of land documents are expected to be finalised in March 2001.
Carlo said the high benzene levels occurred when shipping activities were carried out. He said that in an effort to maintain high levels of emission control, Terminals are replacing the carbon beds every year at a cost of $45,000 pa.
ITEM 10. PO RISK ASSESSMENT (MATTHEW WYLIE)
Matthew had been asked by the CICCC to explain why the risk contours around the Terminals redevelopment and west of the Maribyrnong River did not move when the proposed propylene oxide storage tanks were moved 300 metres closer to the residential area.
Matthew said that he has looked closely at, and manually recalculated, all the details provided by DNV in their assessment for the redevelopment (and as previously presented to the CICCC) and compared those to the models used by WorkCover staff to see if the results are the same. He used figures from the 1997 and 2000 studies. Lots of things have changed between the times that these two studies were carried out.
He said that they could not reproduce the same figures as the 1997 DNV study and so he concluded that the 1997 study had resulted in a very conservative best estimate for propylene oxide, particularly close to the tanks. However the 2000 study results that his department obtained were very similar to the figures of DNV.. The contours as presented by DNV were in the same position as calculated by his department.
Matthew concluded that the contours would stay in the same relative position if the PO was moved 300 metre closer to the community was a correct assessment.
Ian asked why they were being moved when the risk would be less if they were upgraded and left in the original position. He suggested that it was wise to make a plant as safe as possible.
Matthew said that PO had certain properties that make this material suitable to move. He said that when there is an incident where PO is released, its effect drops off very quickly with distance from the event, when compared with the effects of other chemicals. He said that because its effects drop off quickly it keeps the effect on the contours to a minimum if the tanks are moved on the site.
Faye asked what would happen should there be an incident where a variety of different chemicals get mixed together?
Matthew said this was an unlikely scenario because each tank was individually bunded. He said it was difficult to make a calculation beyond the presented figures, and so found it difficult to comment on what might occur if the whole plant was involved in an incident. However he said the design of the plant had included careful consideration of separating one chemical from another when those chemicals are more dangerous if they interact. He said the possible risk of a fireball forming if PO were ignited was about the same for both the storage positions.
Ian said that the risk is moved 300 metres closer to residents if the tanks are moved 300 to the planned new position by Terminals.
Robin added that it had been a government directive that the tanks be moved and not a Terminals decision.
Ian and Peter thanked Matthew for the very informative presentation and said it had been helpful to them that Matthew had included the ‘event tree’ of possible failure mechanisms in his explanations.
ITEM 11. ACTION ITEMS.
11.1 Tools used by industry to communicate with neighbouring communities.
Deferred in the absence of Ian Swann.
11.2 Future directions (see Item 14).
11.3 Media release and CICCC web site.
See Attachment 7
11.4 Terminals development of an historic record of facility improvements.
See Attachment 6
Carlo said ‘polymerisation’ described an event where a chemical changes its form from and liquid to a solid. This can result in the splitting of tanks/fires, etc.
‘St Elmo’s fire’ is a low energy phenomenon, similar to lightning, but which is difficult to see with the naked eye.
George said that Terminals have spent 9 to 10 million dollars on the upgrade to the fire system on the site.
In reference to the graph showing the amount of capital expenditure spent by Terminals to date Robin said he thought the Government had contributed significantly to some of the early upgrade costs on Coode Island. This was not indicated on the graph.
ACTION. George to present figures showing the dollar amount contributed by the government to improve the site.
George said the environmental improvement to the whole site will be further improved on today’s achievements, by a factor of 4 after the upgrade.
The safety of the site will be improved on today’s standard, by a further 50-100% as a result of the upgrade.
Robin suggested that the graph of the improvement over time to environmental quality and safety be amended to show the contribution of the planned upgrade. He said that when it was completed and accepted by the Committee, it would be extremely useful information which could be posted on the web site.
Ian thanked George for the presentation.
ITEM 12. CORRESPONDENCE OUT
See Attachment 3
12.1 Appreciation to Greg Twitt
12.2 Letters to EPA Chairman dated 21/12/2001 and 8/1/2001
12.3 Acknowledgment to NUW 28/12/00
ITEM 13. CORRESPONDENCE IN
See Attachment 4
13.1 National Union of Workers 14/12/00
13.2 Rob Boyd at Stereo 974 20/12/00
13.3 EPA 24/1/01
13.4 Maribyrnong City Council 27/12/00
ITEM 14. FUTURE DIRECTIONS (See discussion paper circulated)
ACTION. Discussion deferred to the next meeting. Please refer to the appropriate attachment in the Nov 2000 minutes.
ITEM 15. AGENDA FOR NEXT MEETING (8 MARCH 2001)
The following items will be included
- Emergency Management Strategy
- Future directions
- Worst Case Scenario presentation
- Facility Improvement Table
- Safety Case development
ACTION. Robin to draw up a possible schedule for future meeting dates.
ITEM 16. OTHER BUSINESS
Thursday 8 March 2001
Thursday 12 April 2001
CICCC ATTACHMENTS TO DRAFT MINUTES 8 February 2001
Attachment 1 The Hindenburg Disaster – Ian Thomas
Attachment 2 Correspondence from Maribyrnong CC to CICCC re Protection of the Coode Island Buffer Zone dated 27/12/2000.
Attachment 3 Correspondence ‘Out’
Appreciation to Greg Twitt
Letters to EPA Chairman dated 21/12/2001 and 8/1/2001
Acknowledgment to NUW 28/12/00
Attachment 4 Correspondence ‘In’
National Union of Workers 14/12/00
Rob Boyd at Stereo 974 20/12/00
Maribyrnong City Council 27/12/00 (see Attachment 2 above)
Attachment 5 Coode Island Terminals Pty Ltd Monthly Operations and Occurrence Reports for November 2000, December 2000 and January 2001.
Attachment 6 Terminals development of an historic record of facility improvement.
Attachment 7 Media Release 14 December 2000