Chemical Maker Faces Oil Spill Fine

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 04:05 PM gHale

A Sunshine West chemical manufacturer is facing a fine of almost $8,000 for allowing vegetable oil to spill into the stormwater system.

Tri-Tech Chemical Company was responsible for a “yellow-grey liquid” reported flowing from a drain into a tributary of Kororoit Creek on March 5, according to the Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA).

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The company has been fined $7,773 for breaching the Environment Protection Act 1970.

A two-month investigation led the EPA to pinpoint the Sunshine West chemical manufacturer as the source of the spill after testing water samples at three sites, including one near Normanby Avenue, where the company has its manufacturing plant.

EPA metro manager Dan Hunt said the spill traced back to a ruptured water pipe that caused contaminated waste to begin to overflow into Normanby Avenue.

“The contaminated liquid escaped through a broken concrete bund [spill containment system] and flowed onto Normanby Avenue and into the stormwater system,” he said.

“While it is unknown how much oil escaped the site, thankfully the spill had no demonstrable impact on Kororoit Creek due to the rapid response by Melbourne Water, which prevented the oils moving further downstream,” he said.

Tri-Tech was issued a remedial notice requiring it to fix the concrete bund. It has since been fixed to the standards requested by the EPA.

Hunt said the EPA expected businesses to prevent spills, to have infrastructure to contain spills and to have clean-up chemicals to prevent environmental impacts if spills did occur.

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