Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has fined a Laverton North company $7773 for allowing a thick, black liquid leave its site and enter the stormwater system.
EPA officers visited the premises of Sami Bitumen Technologies Pty Ltd, on Doherty’s Road, on 5 April 2017 following a report to EPA’s pollution hotline.
On arrival, the officers found a thick black liquid was discharging directly into a nearby stormwater pit which connects to Kayes Drain. EPA officers found the liquid was coming from the eastern side of the company’s site, where bitumen manufacturing occurs, near large tanks labelled “emulsion”.
The liquid had spread around the base of the tanks and across the concrete surface, and was flowing into the stormwater pit.
EPA Metro Manager, Dan Hunt said the company was issued with a remedial notice requiring they install controls to prevent further spills from entering the stormwater system.
“EPA’s investigation found that the spill occurred as a result of leaking valves in the pipework surrounding the tanks, he said.
“While the company has made changes to their processes and equipment to prevent further spills, EPA expects preventative measures are implemented to stop spills from happening in the first place.”
“Should an incident like this occur, the company would then have had the infrastructure to contain and clean-up spills to prevent impacts to the environment.”
“A thick black liquid such as this could potentially impact on the local environment and be harmful to wildlife and aquatic life.”
“Companies could mitigate spills through proper management plans, boundary shut off valves with temporary containment ponds and through retaining the services of EPA approved waste removalists, transporters and treaters.”
Mr Hunt said the company was fined for deposit industrial waste (bitumen emulsion), a breach under 27A(2)(a) of the Environment Protection Act 1970.