EPA prosecutes Viva Energy over alleged Sydney Harbour pollution

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The NSW Environment Protection Authority is prosecuting Viva Energy Australia in the Land and Environment Court over an alleged spill of marine fuel oil from the company’s terminal into Sydney Harbour at Gore Bay, Greenwich.

The EPA alleges that:

  • On or about December 30, 2016, a spill of marine fuel oil occurred from a pipe at the company’s fuel import and storage terminal at Gore Bay, polluting Sydney Harbour.
  • The company failed to immediately notify relevant authorities, including the EPA, of the incident.
  • The company breached its environment-protection licence by failing to maintain plant and equipment at the premises in a proper and efficient condition.

The EPA notes that a clean-up operation began immediately following the incident and included installing booms, skimming the water and steam cleaning the foreshore and rocks.

In a statement posted on the Viva Energy website, the company says it takes its environmental responsibilities seriously.

“We regret and apologise that this incident occurred,” the statement said.

“Owing to the prompt response to the leak by our terminal employees and the Port Authority, the fuel oil that entered Gore Bay was confined to an area adjacent to a portion of the perimeter of the terminal.

“A thorough clean-up was completed and signed off by the NSW EPA and Office of Environment and Heritage.

“We have taken a number of steps to ensure a similar incident does not occur in the future.”

The prosecutions are listed before the Land and Environment Court for mention on February 9, 2018.