The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) says while there was no environmental harm caused by a licence breach at a Newcastle fuel storage terminal, there is always a risk.
Stolthaven Australia, which operates the bulk liquid fuel storage terminal at Mayfield, has been fined $30,000 for failing to comply with its environment protection licence.
The EPA said Stolthaven exceeded its annual throughput for diesel and biodiesel by 260 megalitres between October 2013 and October last year.
The EPA’s Adam Gilligan said the company also received a caution for non-compliance with how the site controls and disposes of its wastewater.
“We put conditions on licences and set limits on production to make sure that the impacts on the envionrment are being managed in accordance with what’s already been approved,” he said.
“So there are always risks when companies exceed those limits that there are going to be unexpected consequences, and that’s why we’ve taken action in this case.”
The EPA said companies must seek permission to alter their conditions of licence so they can ensure all requirements are being met.
Mr Gilligan said the company has since received approval for a massive expansion of the facility.
“It’s always best to ask for permission first, and that way we can make sure that any potential environmental impacts are being apprropriately managed,” he said.
“By going through the proper processes, we can look at things like the modelling of air pollutants to see they are not going to have an impact on residents in the area of the environment more generally.”
The ABC has contacted the company for comment.
Extracted in full from ABC.