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Environment Protection Authority

EPA issues two penalty notices to Chemprod Nominees Pty Ltd following sulphuric acid leak

Media release: 14 April 2016

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has issued a total of $8,000 in fines to Chemprod Nominees Pty Ltd for a sulphuric acid leak from a truck at Rix’s Creek, near Singleton. Two penalty notices were issued in relation to the incident.

EPA Hunter Manager, Adam Gilligan, said that the EPA attended the site with Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) to investigate the incident on 9 February 2016.

“RMS heavy vehicle inspectors were conducting a routine vehicle check of a tanker at the vehicle inspection bay on the New England Highway at Rix’s Creek. They found the tanker was leaking a small quantity of sulphuric acid.

“The tanker was carrying approximately 13,000 litres of this acid, which could have posed a serious threat of environmental harm if a significant quantity had leaked from the vehicle. 

On this occasion, Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) attended and contained the spill quickly, and the contents of the tanker were decanted to another vehicle.

The EPA attended the site to undertake a dangerous goods compliance inspection of the vehicle. The inspection determined that the tanker was unsafe and also identified non-compliance with safety equipment requirements.

The defective tanker was directed to return to the company depot once it had been emptied.

“The first penalty notice of $4000 was issued for use of an unsafe vehicle to transport dangerous goods. The second penalty notice was issued for the driver not carrying all required personal protective equipment and safety gear.

“The EPA also served a prohibition notice on the company, requiring it to engage a suitably qualified specialist to undertake inspection and testing of the tanker before it returned to service.

“This incident demonstrates the strong and close working relationship the EPA has with both RMS and FRNSW. We expect the transport industry to comply with environmental requirements and these relationships are an important aspect of ensuring that happens.   

Penalty notices are just one of a number of tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance, including formal warnings, licence conditions, notices and directions, mandatory audits, enforceable undertakings, legally binding pollution reduction programs and prosecutions.

For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy at: http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm.

If a member of the public sees dangerous goods being transported in an unsafe manner, they should contact the Environment Line on 131 555

Contact: EPA Public Affairs

Page last updated: 14 April 2016