Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Breach of dangerous goods transport rules attracts $48,000 in fines

Media release: 3 July 2017

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has issued $48,000 in fines after an investigation revealed dangerous goods tankers used to carry ammonium nitrate were not of an appropriate standard.

The EPA launched an investigation into Newcastle-based Crawfords Freightlines Pty Ltd after one of their trucks rolled on the Golden Highway, west of Jerry Plains, in April 2016. On this occasion no one was hurt and the spill of ammonium nitrate emulsion was cleaned up with minimal environmental impact. 

The EPA’s investigation revealed that the Crawfords’ tanker trucks, while suitable to transport liquid fuel, were not appropriate to transport ammonium nitrate emulsion. The EPA investigation found the tanker trailer involved in the incident was sub-standard as were another seven of Crawfords’ tanker trailers. The trailers were regularly used to transport ammonium nitrate emulsion on behalf of Downer EDI Mining – Blasting Services Pty Ltd and Dyno Nobel Asia Pacific Pty Ltd.

A review of Crawfords’ transport documents for the 12 months prior to the incident showed that inappropriate B-Double tankers had been used to transport ammonium nitrate emulsion for approximately 210 journeys, transporting around 8,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate on public roads in NSW.

As the manufacturers and consignors of ammonium nitrate emulsion, both Downer EDI Mining – Blasting Services Pty Ltd and Dyno Nobel Asia Pacific Pty Ltd should have known that the trucks they had consigned for transport were non-compliant.

The EPA has issued Crawfords with $32,000 in fines for the transport of ammonium nitrate emulsion using inappropriate tanker trailers.  The EPA has issued $8,000 in fines each to Downer EDI Mining – Blasting Services Pty Ltd and Dyno Nobel Asia Pacific Pty Ltd.

EPA Director Hunter Karen Marler said the offenders were fortunate that the use of sub-standard tankers had not resulted in more serious incidents.

“While the April 2016 incident was contained and caused minimal harm, it is extremely important that dangerous goods are transported in a manner that is safe for the community and the environment” Ms Marler said.

“In a case where dangerous goods like ammonium nitrate emulsion is not transported in the proper way, the fault lies with both the transporter and the consignor.

“Downer and Dyno have implemented revised procedures after being made aware of this issue and the EPA’s investigation. Crawfords have also upgraded their tanker fleet to ensure all tankers are now fully compliant.

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



Contact: EPA Public Affairs

Page last updated: 03 July 2017