Toll cops NSW EPA fine for contractor shortcoming

By: Rob McKay


Prime contractor responsible under dangerous good law

Toll cops NSW EPA fine for contractor shortcoming
EPA NSW has fined Toll

 

Its fuel tanker was hit by a drunk driver, it sought to remedy the situation through a contractor, the contractor didn’t have the right pump and Toll ended up with a $2,000 NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) fine.

Asked why the contractor escaped censure, the NSW EPA points to the law.

"Toll Transport’s contractor initially planned to decant the dangerous goods but was unable to obtain a suitable pump," the NSW EPA spokesperson says.

"Under NSW Dangerous Goods legislation, it is the prime contractor, in this case Toll Transport, which is legally responsible."


NSW EPA has been focusing on dangerous goods issues recently


According to the NSW EPA, the tanker collided with a rock wall under Ethel Street Bridge on Manly Road after a collision with a car, disabling the prime mover.

EPA director hazardous materials Asela Atapattu says a $2,000 penalty notice was issued for the way a contractor engaged by Toll Transport responded to the crash.

"We understand that Fire and Rescue NSW asked Toll to control the situation and recover the dangerous goods. Toll engaged a contractor to manage the situation," Atapattu says.

"We allege the contractor failed to evaluate the situation correctly and didn’t obtain the equipment and resources to perform the recovery in a timely manner."

The main issue was the time taken to free up the road and its impact state and local emergency and other resources.

"Although the tanker wasn’t seriously damaged in the incident, a major metropolitan arterial road was impacted for 18 hours before Fire and Rescue ordered the tanker be moved off the road to prevent further inconvenience and environmental risk during the next evening traffic peak," Atapattu says.

"Furthermore, the resources of FRNSW, NSW Police, RMS and Northern Beaches Council were tied up during this extended incident.

"Any poorly managed recovery on a major road involving dangerous goods has the potential to cause significant harm to the environment and people in the area, including residents and motorists."

EPA NSW was unable to identify the contractor by deadline and a response has been sought from Toll.

 

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