Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Viva Energy Australia fined $15,000 after waste water flows into Duck River

Media release: 26 June 2017

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined Viva Energy $15,000 after pumping equipment used to apply a soil binding agent was washed out on site causing waste water to flow into Duck River, Rosehill.
On November 4 2016 contractors at Viva Energy’s Durham St facility were washing out pumping equipment on the site at the end of the day’s activities. This facility is used to receive, store and distribute fuel products.
As part of demolition works taking place on site, a soil binding liquid was sprayed onto exposed soil to prevent it moving in wind or rain. This sprayed liquid dries into a crust and acts as a cover for exposed soil which can mitigate the potential for erosion. 
As subcontractors were cleaning out the pumping equipment used to apply the soil binder, the waste water flowed into local drains. Some of this flowed into Duck River.
While the impact on the environment was minimal, the incident could have been avoided had the contractors conducted their work in a proper manner. 
EPA Regional Director Metropolitan Giselle Howard said while Viva had come forward and reported the incident themselves, this fine is an appropriate response to an incident of this nature.
“Duck River flows into Paramatta River, then to Sydney Harbour, and it is important everyone does their bit to protect this important waterway,” Ms Howard said.
“The EPA is committed to working towards making the Parramatta River swimmable again by 2025, and to achieve this we need to stamp down on instances of water pollution and make sure facilities work towards 100 per cent compliance.”
Penalty notices are one of a number of tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance including formal warnings, official cautions, licence conditions, notices and directions 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

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined Viva Energy Australia $15,000 after pumping equipment used to apply a soil binding agent was washed out on site causing waste water to flow into Duck River, Rosehill.

On November 4 2016 contractors at Viva Energy’s Durham St facility were washing out pumping equipment on the site at the end of the day’s activities. This facility is used to receive, store and distribute fuel products.

As part of demolition works taking place on site, a soil binding liquid was sprayed onto exposed soil to prevent it moving in wind or rain. This sprayed liquid dries into a crust and acts as a cover for exposed soil which can mitigate the potential for erosion.

As subcontractors were cleaning out the pumping equipment used to apply the soil binder, the waste water flowed into local drains. Some of this flowed into Duck River.

While the impact on the environment was minimal, the incident could have been avoided had the contractors conducted their work in a proper manner.

EPA Regional Director Metropolitan Giselle Howard said while Viva had come forward and reported the incident themselves, this fine is an appropriate response to an incident of this nature.

“Duck River flows into Paramatta River, then to Sydney Harbour, and it is important everyone does their bit to protect this important waterway,” Ms Howard said.

“The EPA is committed to working towards making the Parramatta River swimmable again by 2025, and to achieve this we need to stamp down on instances of water pollution and make sure facilities work towards 100 per cent compliance.”

Penalty notices are one of a number of tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance including formal warnings, official cautions, licence conditions, notices and directions 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

Contact: Public Affairs

Page last updated: 26 June 2017