Rutherford oil processing facility fined $30,000 for environmental offences

Media release: 1 October 2015 –
The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has issued two penalty notices to Truegain Pty Ltd for water pollution and breaching its Environmental Protection Licence (EPL).

Truegain has been fined $15,000 for allowing hydrocarbon contaminated water to enter a table drain and $15,000 for oil leaks into the Southern Tank Farm Bund.

“On 22 April 2015 the EPA received a report from Truegain regarding an overflow of oil contaminated water from one of their bunded areas during heavy storms,” Acting Director North Branch Adam Gilligan said.

“In response to this incident the EPA inspected the premises and immediately issued the company with a clean-up direction. During this inspection the EPA also observed contaminated water leaving the facility and environmental controls for spill containment, such as absorbent booms, had not been deployed.”

Further investigation revealed that important equipment used to transfer and store waste oil had failed before and during the storms in April. This caused significant quantities of waste oil to enter the bunded area and consequently overflow from the bund during the storm.

“EPL conditions require licenced activities to be carried out in a competent manner,” Mr Gilligan said.

“The EPA believes the oil leaks could have been prevented if activities associated with waste oil storage had been carried out competently.”

“The EPA also believes the contaminated water could have been contained on-site.”

“These penalties are a reminder to all companies that their equipment must be properly maintained and monitored, and that environmental controls should be deployed as soon as possible if an incident occurs.”

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

To report pollution events call the Environment Line on 131 555.

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