On 27 September 2007, at Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court, Onesteel MBS Pty Ltd pleaded guilty to causing an environmental hazard charge brought by the Environment Protection Authority in relation to the discharge of an estimated 3,000 litres of chromic acid from its premises at Cliffords Road Somerton in late October 2005.

The Court, without convicting Onesteel MBS Pty Ltd, ordered it to pay $75,000 to MCMC for the Streets and Streams project which involves community education on stormwater impact via guided walks, display materials and electronic and printed information packages, as well as stormwater monitoring work and habitat restoration at four sites along Merri Creek: Rushwood Reserve Craigieburn, Moomba Park Fawkner, Merri Park Wetland Northcote, and Hall Reserve Wetland Clifton Hill.

The discharge resulted from an overflow of chromic acid when the power and air supply was turned off for the Melbourne Cup weekend in 2005. The secondary containment bund also failed to contain the overflow and the chromic acid entered the stormwater drains. Luckily, it did not reach Merri Creek but was contained in a Melbourne Water sediment basin on the west side of Hume Highway.

 

Onesteel MBS Pty Ltd has since made appropriate changes to prevent a recurrence of this incident.