Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has fined Broadmeadows company GSB Chemicals Co Pty Ltd more than $7,700 for causing an environmental hazard in Campbellfield Creek.
EPA Metro Manager Daniel Hunt said that following a fire at the company’s Camp Road site in January, EPA officers carried out an investigation and found fire water was flowing from the premises into onsite stormwater drains.
“Our officers identified that the fire water was carrying a white substance identified as Hydrocol/Tung oil and entering Campbellfield Creek via the stormwater system,” Mr Hunt said.
Mr Hunt said the discharge of fire water into Campbellfield Creek had led to low oxygen and high concentrations of toxic pollutants within the creek.
“The evidence from the spill of fire water into Campbellfield Creek supports an environmental hazard having been created, and pollution of waters having occurred, which is why EPA has fined the company,” Mr Hunt said.
Mr Hunt said the investigating officers found no visible stormwater controls or mechanisms to prevent the chemical being discharged from the site.
“GSB is a dangerous goods warehouse that contains raw and unfinished chemical products and it is disappointing that no controls where in place even though EPA has provided this company with advice in the past to install measures to prevent something like this happening,” Mr Hunt said.
Mr Hunt said EPA expected preventative actions to be taken at companies of this nature to prevent the spill of chemicals, and in the event of any incidents, infrastructure to contain chemicals to prevent impacts on the environment.
“This can be achieved through management plans, boundary shut off valves with temporary containment ponds or tanks, and using the services of EPA-approved waste removalists, transporters, and treaters,” Mr Hunt said.
Mr Hunt said that the company had also been issued with a notice that required it to install appropriate on-site stormwater controls to prevent any further chemical discharges.
“Companies that receive EPA notices have legal obligations to meet the requirements; failure to comply is an offence under Section 31A (7) of the Environment Protection Act 1970 and could see further fines handed down,” Mr Hunt said.
Mr Hunt said the chemical-laden fire water was removed from Campbellfield Creek.
EPA urges members of the public to report suspected pollution to EPA on 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC) or at www.epa.vic.gov.au