The New South Wales Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has fined Downer EDI Mining $15,000 after identifying poor maintenance that led to a diesel leak at the company’s Mount Thorley facility.
The EPA went to the Downer Blasting Services site on June 20 as part of its routine inspections of explosive manufacturers in the Singleton area.
During the inspection, the EPA officers found that a diesel bund valve was buried in the soil which caused a small amount of diesel to leak out. The officers also concluded that a number of spills had likely occurred as a result the buried valve.
The officers also found poor chemical storage that could potentially contaminate soil as well as inadequate stormwater diversions.
Hunter EPA director Karen Marler said the authority expects chemical storage facilities to adequately maintain all equipment due to the risks they can pose to human health and the environment.
“The EPA expects a high standard when it comes to storing and handling fuels and other chemicals,” she said.
“While the fine is appropriate for this matter, just as important will be the action that Downer takes to ensure that it improves its environmental management to avoid similar problems in the future.”
In addition to the fine, the EPA is also working on a pollution reduction program with Downer to improve environmental outcomes at the facility.