Spilt milk leads to transport company fine

EPA voices concerns over dairy supply chain

Spilt milk leads to transport company fine
The Victorian EPA says it has issued fines in similar cases in the region


Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria has fined a milk transport company over a leak that let contaminated water enter a creek at Korumburra in the state’s Gippsland region, using the event to remind those in the dairy supply chain of their responsibilities.

O'Neills Bulk Tanker Service was penalised $8,060 after EPA officers responded to reports of a strong odour of milk coming from an unnamed creek in Korumburra.

EPA reports grey-brown water in the creek was traced back to the O’Neills truck depot, where it appeared to be discharging through a hole in the sump that collected waste water from the truck wash bay.

The EPA officers observed milk tankers at the site, and milky water in a drainage pit at the truck wash bay. There were intermittent pools of grey/brown water extending down to the creek.

Due to witness accounts, EPA believes the discharge could have been occurring for some months.

EPA also issued the company with a pollution abatement notice (PAN), requiring that it modify the overflow system at its truck wash to prevent further discharges.

Read about the NSW EPA targeting dangerous good compliance recently, here

EPA regional manager Gippsland region Stephen Lansdell says it was disappointing to see a pollution event involving the dairy industry supply chain, and trucking companies in particular.

"Milk might seem harmless but it quickly goes off, producing odour, contaminating land and affecting aquatic species in waterways," Lansdell says.

"EPA has issued fines in similar cases here in Gippsland, and it is concerning that some people in the community and the dairy industry don’t do enough to stop milk entering stormwater drains or waterways.

"It must be treated on site, diluted for irrigation or directed to the sewerage system, otherwise it becomes an environmental hazard.

"This situation could have been avoided easily.  EPA produces guidance on the proper storage and handling of liquids, and how you can reduce and control any risks.

"Gippsland is one of Victoria’s highest producing milk regions and everyone in the supply chain is responsible for protecting the environment from the harmful effects of milk entering the environment."


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