Caltex, a petroleum supplier branch of Chevron, has now been ordered by the New South Wales Environment Protection Authority to administer a second clean-up notice for an oil spill that occurred in Botany Bay, Sydney on March 23. The source of the spill was reported to have originated from Caltex's Kurnell refinery, where nearly 125,000 barrels of crude oil are refined daily.
Officials for Caltex are blaming the leakage on poor weather and heavy rain causing an oil containment area to overflow. A Caltex spokeswoman initially stated after the accident to the Guardian Australia that the spill had been, "contained and dispersed," and that, "No odour or sheen was detected and all appears to now be clear." However, Caltex is now being forced to not only proceed with cleaning up the area for a second time. In addition, the company has to also submit an update of the process to the NSW Environment Protection Authority in four months, as well as complete an ecological assessment program within the next six months.
Botany Bay is often referred to as one of the premiere fishing locations in all of Australia, and an advisory note was issued by the NSW government urging anglers to avoid capturing fish from the surrounding waters that could have been impacted by the spill. This does not mark the first time that Caltex Australia has received scrutiny over pollution. The Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales has vocally criticized the company for continuing to disobey and ignore their pollution license in the past.
Pepe Clarke, CEO of the NSW Nature Conservation Council, has been severely censorious of how Caltex has conducted their business over the past few decades.
"Since 2000, the Caltex Kurnell Refinery has breached its pollution license more than 140 times, including multiple releases of oil and diesel into Port Botany," Clarke said. "This company is a repeat offender, which appears to treat pollution penalties as a cost of doing business."
Avoiding possible pollution
While the weather is often unpredictable, one thing for certain is that efficient predictive maintenance is the best way to ensure no machinery will emit pollution. Carefully adhering to routine inspections with equipment monitoring is the most foolproof plan when it comes to steering clear of not only oil spillage, but guaranteeing employee safety as well.