In early 2018, our Brimbank and Hobsons Bay Officer for the Protection of the Local Environment (OPLE) worked with local council staff on a stormwater pollution project.

Oil and fuel run off from car wrecking and scrap metal businesses was contaminating local stormwater. To help reduce this contamination, the OPLE and council staff inspected more than 20 businesses. The aim was to assess businesses’ environmental risks and improve compliance.

“A joint inspection of a wreckers in Williamstown North found oil leaking from skip bins full of vehicle engines. It seeped into the ground and trailed towards a nearby stormwater pit,” the OPLE said.

"The wrecker is next to a creek that flows into a nearby marine sanctuary and wetland conservation reserve. It was important the business took remedial action.”

The OPLE issued a Clean Up Notice to remove the oil from the ground. The OPLE also issued a Pollution Abatement Notice. This made sure the business put controls in place to prevent oil running into the stormwater pit.

The new stormwater protection system has cut-in drains that drain oil into sump pits. A licenced contractor then removes the oil from the pits.

“Management were receptive to change. They’re happy with the way the site works now as it’s more effective.”

The OPLE issued four businesses with remedial notices during the project. Many other businesses have taken voluntary action to address environmental concerns.

“We are continuing to visit businesses right across Brimbank and Hobsons Bay and have seen some big improvements. The OPLE program can make a big difference to stormwater quality.”

Find information for your business about effective liquid storage and handling.

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Reviewed 21 October 2021