Media releases

Company punished for lazy environmental controls

26 Jun 2012

Hyde Park Tank Depot Pty Ltd, a commercial bulk container washing business, has
pleaded guilty to a charge of air pollution under the Environment Protection
Act 1970 (Vic) at the Sunshine Magistrates’ Court today.

The Court heard that on 13 June 2010, Hyde Park polluted the atmosphere by
permitting odorous ethyl acrylate gas to be discharged from its premises into
the atmosphere during the washing process of a bulk container. Ethyl acrylate
is a compound used in the production of polymers including resins, plastics and
rubber.

The gas had escaped the carbon filter used in the company’s vapour recovery
system, after the filter had become fully absorbed, causing glue-like odours to
pollute the atmosphere in Altona North and as far away as Preston.

The offensive odour forced some residents of north and western Melbourne
suburbs to stay indoors or leave the area to avoid the smell.

During the hearing brought by EPA Victoria, the Court was told Hyde Park
admitted in its record of interview to having permitted, albeit
unintentionally, ethyl acrylate vapours to be discharged into the environment.

EPA’s CEO John Merritt said businesses should be constantly vigilant as to
their environmental obligations and continuously monitor their processes.

“EPA has no hesitation in bringing matters before the court when companies fail
to take their environmental responsibility seriously.

“Inattention to details and procedures, in this case not even having a warning
system to know when to replace a carbon filter in a timely fashion, will cost
companies dearly.

“Hyde Park has more than inconvenienced the local community,” Mr Merritt said.
“In allowing a breakthrough of odour the company had disrespected the
community.”

Magistrate Bentley issued Hyde Park Tank Depot Pty Ltd with a good behaviour
bond, without recording a conviction, and ordered the company pay $25,000 to a
local community project, as well as EPA’s costs of $11,389.90. Hyde Park must
publish the details of their offending in four newspapers and on their website.

Page last updated on 26 Jun 2012