EPA issues hefty fines following tanker rollover

Transporter and consignor penalised over using wrong type of tanker trailers


The New South Wales Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has investigated a transport company following a rollover, leading to the issuing of multiple fines. 

An EPA investigation into Newcastle-based Crawfords Freightlines kicked off after one of the company’s trucks rolled on the Golden Highway, west of Jerry Plains, in April last year.

Nobody was hurt in the accident and there was an ammonium nitrate emulsion spill which was cleaned up with minimal environmental impact.

The investigation led to the issuing of $48,000 in fines after it was revealed dangerous goods tankers used to carry ammonium nitrate were not up to standard.

It was revealed in the EPA’s investigation that the Crawfords’ tankers were suitable to transport liquid fuel, but were not appropriate to transport ammonium nitrate emulsion.

The EPA investigation found the tanker trailer involved in the incident was sub-standard as were another seven of Crawfords’ tanker trailers.

The trailers were regularly used to transport ammonium nitrate emulsion on behalf of Downer EDI Mining – Blasting Services and Dyno Nobel Asia Pacific.

A review of Crawfords’ transport documents for the 12 months before the incident showed that inappropriate B-double tankers had been used to transport ammonium nitrate emulsion for approximately 210 journeys, transporting around 8,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate on public roads in NSW.

The EPA issued Crawfords with $32,000 in fines for the transport of ammonium nitrate emulsion using inappropriate tanker trailers, while issuing $8,000 in fines each to Downer EDI Mining – Blasting Services and Dyno Nobel Asia Pacific.

EPA director Hunter Karen Marler says the offenders were fortunate that the use of sub-standard tankers had not resulted in more serious incidents.

"While the April 2016 incident was contained and caused minimal harm, it is extremely important that dangerous goods are transported in a manner that is safe for the community and the environment," Marler says.

"In a case where dangerous goods like ammonium nitrate emulsion is not transported in the proper way, the fault lies with both the transporter and the consignor.

"Downer and Dyno have implemented revised procedures after being made aware of this issue and the EPA’s investigation.

"Crawfords have also upgraded their tanker fleet to ensure all tankers are now fully compliant."

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