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Environment Protection Authority

EPA fines Ocwen Energy for non-compliant transport of dangerous goods

Media release: 18 April 2016

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has issued Ocwen Energy Pty Ltd (trading as Lowes Petroleum) and an employee of the company with penalty notices and official cautions for dangerous goods offences.

EPA’s Hunter Regional Manager, Adam Gilligan, said that a joint dangerous goods compliance operation with NSW Police in September last year identified a bulk fuel tank vehicle with various non-compliances under the Australian Dangerous Goods Code.

“The vehicle contained residual amounts of petroleum products it had been transporting throughout Newcastle earlier that day,” Mr Gilligan said.

“EPA officers identified that the vehicle was not fitted with a compliance plate indicating it had been granted design approval for transporting dangerous goods. Furthermore, the vehicle was not equipped with the fire extinguisher required for the cabin and the two fire extinguishers fitted on the rear of the vehicle had not been serviced as required.

“The dangerous goods laws are there to keep the community safe and this company has clearly not complied with its responsibilities to transport goods in a safe and legal manner.”

The vehicle was escorted back to the Lowes Petroleum depot at Cardiff where the EPA issued prohibition notices to Ocwen Energy and the driver. The notices prohibit the vehicle from being used to transport dangerous goods.

In addition, Ocwen Energy was issued with two Penalty Notices—one ($4000) for using a vehicle to transport dangerous goods without being fitted with the required compliance plate and the second ($2000) for failing to ensure the driver had been provided with the required transport documentation.

The EPA has also issued the driver a Penalty Notice ($800) for incorrectly detailing in the transport documentation the volume of dangerous goods being carried. The EPA has also issued both parties with Official Cautions for the remaining non-compliances.

In a separate matter, the EPA has also issued Ocwen with another Penalty Notice of $1300 for consigning dangerous goods without providing the prime contractor or driver with compliant transport documentation. This was identified during a compliance inspection of another vehicle at Kooragang in February this year.

Penalty notices are 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: http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm.

If a member of the public has any concerns regarding the transport of dangerous goods, they should contact the Environment Line immediately on 131 555.

Contact: EPA Public Affairs

Page last updated: 18 April 2016