EPA fines AGL Macquarie $30,000 after diesel spill

The NSW Environment Protection Authority has fined AGL Macquarie Pty Ltd (AGL) $30,000 following a diesel spill from Bayswater Power Station in to Tinkers Creek in 2018.

EPA Director Hunter Karen Marler said two fines of $15,000 each and two official cautions were issued after diesel overflowed from an onsite storage tank, due to an alleged valve failure, despite alarms being sounded.

“It is believed that between 45,000 to 70,000 litres of diesel overflowed from the tank with a small amount of diesel making its way to Tinkers Creek,” Ms Marler said.

“The diesel was not contained by the tank’s bund due to the company’s failure to maintain the bund.

“The issue was amplified by the way the internal alarm system was managed. Multiple alarms masked the alert caused by the diesel overflow and led to a delayed response.”

Since the incident, AGL has addressed deficiencies with their alarm system.

The EPA acknowledges that AGL implemented measures to swiftly clean up the spill, including installing booms in Tinkers Creek and engaging suction truck contractors to clean up.

The NSW EPA encourage the community to report any concerns about environmental pollution to the EPA’s environment line on 131 555. The EPA takes all reports seriously and will investigate.

Penalty notices are one of several tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance including formal warnings, official cautions, licence conditions, notices and directions and prosecutions. For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy at www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm