Unigrain has been fined by the Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) after a failure to follow correct spill procedures led to a blue dye being released into an adjacent seasonal waterway.
On 20 June this year, EPA officers attended Unigrain’s Smeaton site after the company self-reported that a quantity of a blue dye had been released into the nearby waterway.
EPA officers inspected the site, gathered evidence and reviewed the incident report finding that the dye had been spilled whilst being moved and was then washed away with a hose. The washing down of the dye exacerbated the extent of the spill, through the onsite stormwater system and into the waterway.
“The report stated correct spill procedure protocols were not followed,” said EPA North West Team Leader Danny Childs.
“About 20 litres of the dye was spilt and could have caused harm to aquatic life in the creek, as well as having damaged the local environment.”
“While the spill was an accident and the company was quick to take action, self-report and work with the EPA to clean up, the failure to follow protocols makes a fine of $7,773 appropriate.
“Communities expect companies will be able to manage their environmental risks, and Unigrain did not do so on this occasion.”
To read the EPA media release issued in June warning the local community about the spill go to