Blitz warns on creek pollutants

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THREE businesses have been issued Environment Protection Authority pollution abatement notices because their actions have the potential to contaminate Mordialloc creek.

Staff from the EPA, Kingston Council and South East Water inspected 30 businesses last month after identifying they “had the potential to impact local stormwater systems through their use of heavy metals or hydrocarbons”.

The blitz aimed to identify the source of pollution already found in the waterway.

“It is important to note that these notices were not issued for causing pollution; they were issued as there was the potential for pollution of waterways identified at these sites,” the EPA’s south west manager Leigh Bryant said.

Those notified were large industrial laundry company E Wash Australia Pty Ltd, car detailing business Glitz Car Detailing and metal treatment business Metalcote Pty Ltd.

Mr Bryant said the notices required the businesses to place controls around wastewater management and chemical storage facilities. The metal treatment facility and industrial laundry require the provision of bunding for waste chemical and wastewater storage to prevent potential discharges that could arise from spills, leaks or accidents.

The notice to the car detailing business requires it to immediately stop discharging wastewater into stormwater. The company has since applied for connection to the sewer for trade waste under a South East Water trade waste agreement.

“The aim of our inspection program was to educate businesses that use either heavy metal solutions or hydrocarbons in their production processes, and to help them better understand their environmental responsibilities,” Mr Bryant said.

“Regular water testing in the downstream Mordialloc Creek showed elevated levels of zinc, copper and chromium, so the aim of the inspections was to target businesses that were known to use either heavy metal solutions or hydrocarbons in their production processes.

“Given the potential impact on aquatic wildlife, EPA’s primary focus is to help prevent pollution of Mordialloc Creek and work with the City of Kingston and South East Water to increase local businesses’ understanding of their environmental responsibilities.

“Failure to comply with PANs may result in a $7584 fine. EPA will be following up with all the businesses inspected to ensure concerns are being dealt with appropriately.”

All 30 sites inspected will be provided with reports outlining findings and any follow up action required.

First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News – 28 October 2015

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