Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has fined a West Melbourne company more than $7700 for failing to comply with the Environment Protection Act 1970, after tonnes of plastic beads spilled from a truck and caused two motorcycle accidents.
EPA has issued an infringement notice to QUBE Logistics (Vic) P/L of Lloyd Street, West Melbourne, over the incident, which took place in Lloyd St on 16 January 2017.
'Police called in EPA after the truck carrying a load of black polyethylene beads struck a rail bridge and lost a large part of its load,' said EPA Metropolitan Region Manager Daniel Hunt.
'Seven tonnes of the beads spilled onto the road, making the road surface extremely slippery and causing two motorcycles to crash,' Mr Hunt said.
While the truck returned to its depot and the company assisted with cleaning up the spill, the investigation found the truck driver was not properly trained in the company’s safety procedures and should not have been driving.
'The driver has failed to observe the bridge height, and hit it, causing the load to spill,' Mr Hunt said.
'He has then driven from the scene, spreading the beads on the road and causing a slippery hazard. The driver should have observed the signs, and after the incident he should have remained at the scene to prevent further spreading the material until his load was resecured and a clean-up occurred.'
Mr Hunt said the spill had caused a potentially life-threatening hazard, and EPA issued the company with an infringement notice, representing a fine of $7773.
'In addition to the hazard they posed to motorists, these polyethylene beads can enter waterways and affect wildlife when swallowed,' Mr Hunt said.
Members of the public can report pollution of the environment to the 24-hour EPA pollution hotline, by calling 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC). There’s more information at www.epa.vic.gov.au/get-involved/report-pollution