EPA Victoria officers have inspected 60 industrial sites around Tullamarine to prevent threats to local waterways, including Steele Creek.
EPA acknowledged World Water Day on 22 March and in the theme of ‘accelerating change’ is reminding businesses they can take some simple steps to protect waterways by managing their waste and preventing spills and leaks to stormwater.
The inspections are part of a proactive statewide program involving small to medium businesses near waterways to improve management and stop spills or chemicals escaping into stormwater drains, creeks and rivers. EPA has used local knowledge to target industrial precincts and more than 380 sites across Victoria so far as part of this program
EPA Western Metropolitan Melbourne Regional Manager Steve Lansdell said there were sensible things each business should do to prevent and manage their risks.
“Businesses around Tullamarine were cooperative and most of the issues we found could be fixed easily. The team issued 130 pieces of compliance advice and will follow up to ensure the improvements are made,” Mr Lansdell said.
“We have issued two remedial notices and we’re finalising another two to set clear legal deadlines and requirements on some businesses to improve their liquid storage and handling controls, washing procedures and stormwater management,” he said.
“We are also investigating a number of potential enforcement matters for businesses washing wastewaters directly to stormwater drains. EPA has strict penalties if any business fails to comply with our notices and laws.”
During this inspection campaign officers from EPA’s Northern and Western Metropolitan Regions were joined by a Wurundjeri Narrap Ranger.
Typical issues found during the program’s inspections include:
- Liquid storage and handling (including bunding controls)
- Vehicle washing into stormwater
- Storage and handling of waste
- Spill kits
- Lack of stormwater controls
- Storage and disposal of waste tyres
- Waste Tracker knowledge and use
A few of the businesses inspected were unaware of the General Environmental Duty, which makes it every Victorian’s responsibility to take reasonable actions to prevent pollution.
“Stormwater drains empty into local waterways such as creeks and rivers, so it’s critical that businesses know their responsibility and take all reasonable actions to prevent pollution,” Steve Lansdell said.
EPA has information online at epa.vic.gov.au/for-business/find-a-topic/store-manage-liquids