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Environment Protection Authority

OEH enters into Enforceable Undertaking with the EPA following Lidcombe diesel leak

Media release: 3 August 2017

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has agreed to an Enforceable Undertaking by the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) following a diesel leak at its Lidcombe laboratory in July 2016.

OEH will pay $15,000 towards an environmental project at the Carnarvon Golf Course after diesel leaked from the laboratory into surrounding soil, with some of the diesel reaching the local stormwater drain and discharging into the golf club’s irrigation system, leaving an oily sheen on the water’s surface and causing a detectable fuel odour. In addition, OEH will pay a total of $3,000 for EPA investigation and legal costs.

EPA officers investigated the leak and found that it had been caused by a corroded pipe on an underground petroleum storage system (UPSS). The spill was contained and OEH engaged a remediation contractor to clean up the incident and change the infrastructure arrangement. OEH has also put in place an environment protection plan to ensure the UPSS is managed safely.

EPA Director Metropolitan Branch Giselle Howard said the enforceable undertaking would ensure that there would be a positive environmental outcome from the incident.

“OEH responded quickly to clean up the incident, fix the faulty pipe and take steps to ensure this type of incident does not happen again,” Ms Howard said.

“The Enforceable Undertaking is a legally binding agreement between the EPA and OEH, and $15,000 will be paid by the OEH towards an environmental project related to the golf course’s greenspace or waterways in the same Haslem’s Creek catchment, that must be undertaken in the next 12 months.”

Details of the Enforceable Undertaking are available on the EPA’s Public Register.

Enforceable Undertakings are just one of a number of tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance, redress any environmental harm and obtain a good and lasting benefit for the environment. These tools include penalty notices, formal warnings, notices and directions, mandatory audits, 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: 03 August 2017