Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has fined 7-Eleven Stores Pty Ltd more than $7,700 for failing to remove hydrocarbons from groundwater beneath a Newport premises in a timely manner.
EPA Metropolitan Region Manager Daniel Hunt said EPA officers discovered the fuel residues at the Melbourne Road site following a report to EPA’s Pollution Hotline.
“An EPA investigation found what has been analysed and appears to be weathered petrol, in groundwater at and in the immediate vicinity of the premises,” Mr Hunt said.
“During the investigation in February 2017 it was disappointing to uncover that 7-Eleven had known about the hydrocarbon issue at the site since it received a report in 2015, yet had failed to undertake any form of clean up.”
Mr Hunt said EPA would issue the company with a notice that required it to determine the extent of hydrocarbon contamination at and beyond the boundary of its premises, and undertake testing of underground fuel tanks and equipment for any leaks.
“The notice also has a requirement for the company to provide EPA with an approved interim clean-up plan completed by an EPA-appointed environmental auditor,” Mr Hunt said.
Mr Hunt said EPA expected owners and operators of service stations to proactively take practical measures to protect people, property and the environment from potential leaks and spills of fuels, oils and hydrocarbons.
“The design, installation and management requirements for underground petroleum storage systems have been available for a number of years now, and EPA expects owner-operators to undertake regular monitoring and rectify issues without delay,” Mr Hunt said.
EPA also runs a compliance program that aims to reduce the risks to people and the environment from leaking underground petroleum storage systems (UPSSs).
Further information about EPA’s program can be found, here: http://www.epa.vic.gov.au/our-work/programs/upsss-at-service-stations
Mr Hunt said if anyone suspected pollution, they were encouraged to call EPA’s Pollution Hotline on 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC).