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Where is the pollution (stormwater and odour) coming from?
EPA has received and investigated complaints of odour in the area of First Point and Beacon Cove in Port Melbourne. Investigations have identified seepage of hydrocarbons into the stormwater drain near 337 Williamstown Road and hydrocarbon contamination at the premises formerly operated by Garden City Fuel Station P/L (Garden City Fuel). EPA is actively regulating this site and proactively engaging with community and other key stakeholders.
EPA officers have been conducting regular inspections in the area since April 2016, so residents may see EPA staff working in the area.
What are the results of EPA’s sampling?
We have detected hydrocarbon contamination in stormwater drains directly next to Garden City Fuel and in the groundwater at the premises.
Our water sampling has identified minimal liquid hydrocarbons in the stormwater drains in the First Point vicinity. However, hydrocarbon vapours and odour have been detected and can vary significantly, depending on the weather conditions.
EPA issued statutory notices to petrol station operator Garden City Fuel in February 2014 and integrity testing of underground petroleum storage systems was conducted. Garden City Fuel sought review of EPA’s notices in VCAT and the Supreme Court, which meant that compliance with the notices was delayed, and ultimately ended when Garden City Fuel closed its business.
EPA is now working with the landowner, Shelco P/L (Shelco). We have issued two statutory notices that require Shelco to manage offsite impacts of liquid, vapour and odour from hydrocarbons, directing the company to engage an EPA-appointed environmental auditor to prepare a cleanup plan for the premises.
Shelco currently has a remediation system operating on the premises that is addressing the hydrocarbon contamination in the groundwater. EPA intends to serve a statutory notice requiring Shelco to commence cleanup in accordance with the plan and to prepare a final, auditor-verified report once cleanup has been completed to the appropriate standard.
What can I do about the odour?
The intensity of the odour is affected by weather conditions such as wind direction, rainfall or dry spells, and tides that can change the conditions in the stormwater drains. If you experience problems with hydrocarbon odour in the area, please continue to report it to EPA’s Pollution Hotline on 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC).