Recent Fines | Oil Spill Kits for Australia

As our population swells and continues to urbanise, people are becoming more and more aware of the value of a pristine environment. People want an area that looks natural, for their streams and rivers to run clean, and for the air and the soil to be unsullied by industrial practices and traces of humanity. Oil spill kits, from your friends at EcoSpill, are built to ensure this.

That is just one of the reasons that in 2014, the state of New South Wales implemented a new set of environmental regulations, ones which instituted some of the toughest fines for polluters to be found anywhere. As part of a ten-fold increase in on-the-spot fines for polluters, it was intended as a broader attempt to prevent the degradation of our natural assets, to deter potential polluters, and has been mirrored in neighbouring states since its introduction. Here are some examples of it, in action.

Sydney Harbour

Oil and water are a classic case of two elements that don’t mix. When a few hundred litres of oil were spilt after a pipe ruptured at the Viva Energy site in Greenwich, local residents were up in arms, ringing the EPA on their hotline. The fines are pending, but the firm was left no one in any doubt that locals take the preservation of Sydney Harbour’s waters as a high priority.

The Regina

The Great Barrier Reef is among Australia’s most well-known natural landmarks, and a huge draw for tourists. Little wonder, then, that we are somewhat sensitive to ships dumping their oil in the vicinity of its multitudinous glory.

When oil began to wash up on shore north of Townsville, local authorities were stymied by the lack of a report of lost oil. Eventually, through an exhaustive process, the Regina was identified as the culprit. It is facing a potential maximum fine of $17 million, and there are calls for it to be barred from Australian waters full-stop.

The Janas

This fine, for spilling diesel fuel in the Derwent River in 2015, might not seem enormously meaningful, at only $45000. But, given the spill only involved 400 litres of diesel, it remains one of the most notable fines of recent years. Per unit spilt, it is actually among the most onerous fines handed out in recent years – and indicated to all shipping in Hobart the seriousness with which locals are safeguarding the environment in Tasmania.

Contact EcoSpill for all your oil spill kit needs, and protect yourself, your firm, and the local environment.

Fuel Spill Kits and your friendly Gas Station

While we seem to be moving faster and faster towards electrifying our transportation, the gas station – for the time being, at least – is still a necessary part of our lives. The vast majority of us require our dose of hydrocarbon to keep moving, to drop the kids off or to make it to work. But these stations are imperfect, as they always have been, mostly due to human error.

The nozzles can fit imperfectly, and user inattention can often result in gasoline or diesel being spilt on the ground. As the ground is typically paved, it can then easily run off and enter nearby water sources. Despite such innovations as shut-off valves, drips and spills still occur on a daily basis, and over the course of a busy day, can add up to a damaging amount of spillage.

Fuel spill kits are an essential aspect of gas station operations. They should be within easy reach, and able to be deployed by any member of the staff at a moment’s notice. There is legislation in place that encourages the proper placement of a spill kit at a fuelling station, but ensuring that the kit itself is up to date and usable is nevertheless the responsibility of the station management.

Older fuelling stations, who have been excavated, have been shown to be considerable contributors to groundwater contamination in some cases – the result of years of poor practice. The current owners have then copped a considerable fine. Ensuring your fuel spill kit is ready and waiting to capture any spilt fuel could be vital to avoiding a similar fate.

Natural Remediation | Chemical Spill Kits

The sheer variety and volume of chemicals that are used in our industrial processes today is unprecedented. We owe to them a great deal of thanks for our manufacturing potency, but they can be extremely damaging – hence our need for chemical spill kits, in Australia and around the world, to guard against injury and ecological damage.

Care is vital, but remediation methods are also vital. We haven’t always been so careful, and as we have noticed around many of our older industrial areas, the ground and the water can be toxic, a result of years of poor practice. Cleaning these areas is one of the tasks that this generation has been saddled with. Luckily, we are finding some convenient solutions.

The natural world, especially our aquatic plants, have been noted for their filtering skills. In many areas, the creation of marshes, and planting of such plants, has aided us in removing many toxic entities from a water supply, while simultaneously improving a given area’s ability to resist floods.

One of the most notable of these plants is home grown. According to researchers at the University of Technology Sydney, the harsh climate of the Australian continent breeds plant life that is used to sustaining itself in difficult situations. And not only in cases of chemical or oil contamination – the humble sunflower, when grown around the infamous nuclear plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine, actually gathered radioactive nucleotides in their yellow folds.

Perhaps, in the future, chemical spill kits can act as the quick remediation, while these helpful plants can serve long-term interests. Time, and research, will tell us more.

Environmental and Marine Spill Kits – The Grand Scale

The extraction of oil on a grand scale has long been a dangerous affair, but extracting it from underneath the ocean floor has pushed it in to new territory. Oil spilt on land is difficult to clean up, but manages to stay relatively well-contained, at least for long enough for remediation efforts to be brought to bear. In deep water, it is a different story.

Cleanup efforts for oil spilt on water are varied, and include such methods as the deployment of booms, physical ‘suction’ remova courtesy of ships, and shoreline remediation. There are also dispersants, of various names, whose main purpose is to break the oil down in to smaller globules, allowing bacteria and wave action to break the oil down more quickly.

This method was most recently deployed during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in May of 2015. When this well blew out, it sheared the pipeline off on the ocean floor, which began to spill oil at a tremendous rate over the course of the next three months. It still stands as the biggest spill in the history of the petroleum industry, with an estimated volume of 4.9 million barrels of oil being released in to the Gulf of Mexico.

Once the difficulty in plugging the well was revealed, BP invested in Corexit, a dispersant, which was applied to the affected area by modified crop-dusting planes. Much of the oil sank in to the depths as a result, but this treatment has proven controversial. Such detergents are by themselves somewhat toxic, and their tendency to keep the oil submerged has been speculated to have been intended to remove the slick from the public eye, rather than effect a long-term solution.

While the usage of such dispersants continues to be studied, this case underlines – on a grand scale – the importance of ensuring that our extraction and usage of petroleum is kept to a high standard of safety, to ensure that such difficult decisions are not necessary. Despite their efficacy, many environmental and marine spill kits are intended to treat spills of considerably smaller scale, and such accidents as Deepwater Horizon have proven that our industrial-scale remediation capacity is still quite limited.

If you’re in need of marine and environment spill kits or expertise, EcoSpill is Australia’s expert. Contact us today or browse our huge range of products.

Silt Socks and Soil Erosion

Topsoil erosion is an issue we in Australia have faced continuously over the years. Among almost any agrarian society, we rely on rich and viable topsoil to provide a breeding ground for our vital crops, and when it is stripped away, it can leave some serious problems behind.

When soil erosion removes the uppermost layer of topsoil, the layer that we wind up exploiting ends up being less rich or viable than its predecessor. It can be more difficult to till, and can be less suitable overall for planting. And when this soil runs off in to our watersheds, they can create water quality issues – something that many in the Murray-Darling watershed are very familiar with.

This is the reason that silt socks, and other measures, are so important to Australian processes and farming works. It means that they are able to operate landworks and break ground without fear of the next rainfall, and can stop such events from breaking down the soil and polluting our rivers and reservoirs.

Silt socks and coir logs operate to remove the silt from the water before it reaches the river. This is vital, as a heavy silt load can fundamentally alter the form of a watercourse. It discourages weed growth, and tips the balance in favour of species that forage in zero visibility – as is the case with our much-maligned invasive carp species.

Ensure you aren’t causing environmental damage with properly deployed silt socks and coir logs. Contact Eco Spill for more information.

Erosion and the Unique Coir Log

Erosion control is a vital aspect of construction and retension works around Australia. In the absence of a preventative measure, loose and vital topsoil can easily be lost to the erosive power of pounding waves and running water. In the absence of remediation measures, such as silt socks, it can then we washed in to our waterways, sullying water quality and clarity, and potentially netting the careless person responsible a hefty fine.

At Eco Spill, we provide a wide range of products, including silt socks, aimed at the preservation of our natural areas, while encouraging firms to abide by environmental regulations country-wide. One of the best new methods of preventing soil erosion on your worksite is through the use of coir logs. These unique erosion control products can efficiently prevent excessive soil loss, and are easily deployed across a range of landscapes.

Coir logs are constructed of 100% coconut products. Three metres in length, they come in both 200mm and 300mm thicknesses. Their benefits over the typical hay bales are numerous: coconut products won’t break down as quickly, they are more easily managed and deployed, and they don’t host a wide range of weed seeds – so they won’t sully the landscape after breaking down.

They hold their position well, even in areas of high current. But their biggest asset is their ability to use the entirety of the coconut in their construction – no aspect is left unused, making them an eco-friendly method of preserving your topsoil and waterways.

These coir logs operate outdoors, in almost any landscape, and for a huge variety of spaces – roadworks, embankments, in bush regeneration, and for the creation of water channels in agriculture. If you’re in need of an erosion control device, you can do no better.

Contact Eco Spill today, and find out more.

An Offal Mess | Spill Kits Melbourne

Spill kits for Melbourne can be applied across a wide range of different substances, but some are far more common than others. Engine oils, for example, are highly common, given their ubiquitous use and commonality in workplaces. Others, like mercury, are less common. An even less common substance was spilled on Melbourne’s WestGate freeway, back in March.

Through unknown means, a truck, carrying a full load of offal, managed to dump a large amount of its cargo along the road. Offal is compiled of animal products, unused parts of slaughtered pigs and cows, which can include everything from the brain, to hearts, and livers – almost everything that isn’t actually consumed. This mess came to rest in the heart of the city, and shut down the highway for a number of hours.

It was postulated that the truck had braked, or been forced to brake, and the spill have overtopped the bin behind the cab. The mess had spilt over the front of the bin, meaning some of it had even entered in to the driver’s seat.

This Melbourne spill demanded a spill kit of a particular nature. Many of this variety will contain an antibacterial, to ensure that such a spill doesn’t inadvertently spread disease. It can also incorporate a masking agent, to keep the smell from becoming worse – as you can imagine, lying in the hot sun, offal did not smell like the roses.

For all your spill kit needs, Eco Spill has you covered. Contact us today.

Spill Kits and the Melbourne Workplace

Spills kits in Melbourne are vital for a wide variety of reasons. They aid us in preventing environmental problems, they keep our workplace safe from contamination and slip hazards. But occasionally, a spill can provide more danger than we might realise. One such example occurred at Melbourne Airport in 2016.

Tullamarine is one of the busiest airports in the country, and not only for people – a large amount of freight moves in and out of the city through here. This can include almost any product imaginable, for an almost infinite variety of purposes.

This includes a number of industrial products. In November of last year, a flight landed with a cargo of hydrofluoric acid. This substance is vital to a number of industrial processes, including car detailing and metal washing, but it is also extremely harmful to human life. So when its container began to leak on to the floor of the shipping area, the alarm went out.

The fire department duly arrived, and were able to contain the acid by placing it in to another container. However, the delay in discovering the leak had exposed a number of the staff to vapours from the leaking carton, and one staff member had come in to physical contact with it. Hydroflouric acid interferes with nerve responses, so burns do not become obvious for some time. As a precaution, eight staff members were taken to hospital, although luckily, all were released later that day.

As your spill kit experts in Melbourne, we recognise the importance of DIY cleanup – but we also know when to let the experts take over. Luckily, so did Tullamarine Airport staff. Remember, always be aware of the substances you are handling in your workplace, and the dangers they pose.

Harbour Applications – Spill Kits for Sydney

As one of the busiest harbours in the world, Sydney Harbour has seen its fair share of action since Captain Cook first sighted it. From the white sails of the First Fleet, to Japanese mini submarines, to the great bulk of modern cruise ships, there have been few dull moments on these blue waters.

But with this action comes the potential for disaster. Sydney has long served as an oil port, with Gore Bay currently the largest oil port in the harbour, accompanied by several others scattered through the port. They serve an important purpose, providing a much-needed resource to this growing city. But they have also had a number of incidents, and Sydney has been obliged to break out their spill kits on more than one occasion.

Numerous smaller spills are recorded each year in these busy waters, typically by accident or carelessness. But in 1999, in Gore Bay, a far larger oil spill occurred, courtesy of the Italian tanker Laura D’Amato. While sitting alongside the dock here, an open sea valve resulted in the loss of over 300 tons of oil.

Spill kits were nevertheless broken out to protect the Sydney Harbour shore, and booms surrounded the vessel soon after the spill was noticed. Some did escape, however, and this unsightly stain on the blue waters of the harbour resulted in a public relations nightmare for Shell, who had been fined for a smaller incident at the same dock four years before. In this case, the oil was a light sweet crude variety, which tended to break down and dissipate before it caused too much damage to local wildlife. Quick responses, and good practice, were pivotal to averting a larger catastrophe.

The Importance of Mercury Spill Kits

Quicksilver, or mercury as it is commonly referred, stands apart from many other elements on the periodic table. It is one of the only ones that exists as a liquid in its elemental form, and has a long and storied history in areas of chemistry and lore.

Occurring naturally in the earth’s crust, mercury is a basic aspect of planet’s makeup. But this long history does not conceal its unhealthy nature. Used commonly today in many industrial processes, including paper production, paints, dental appliances, electronics, and coal-based electricity, mercury poses numerous health risks, to the point that it has bred its own specialised spill kit.

Mercury has a negative impact upon our digestive, nervous, and immune systems. It is primarily absorbed through our diets, as it tends to bioaccumulate in various fish and mollusc species. In particular, it has a negative effect on pregnant or nursing women – one of the main reasons for the limits placed on the consumption of these species.

Mercury spill kits from Eco Spill differ from their broad-range counterparts through their specific nature: they exist to tackle this specific spill, and that only. This underlines the importance of their role. Mercury, once released in to an environment, does considerable damage, over both a long and a short time frame.

A mercury spill kit takes in to account the necessity for speed and a snappy response. You are looking to solve the problem as quickly as possible, without putting yourself at undue risk of absorbing any of the chemicals yourself. PPE gear, then, is an absolute necessity.

You may never need to use it, but the importance of being prepared cannot be overstated. For more information on the use of your mercury spill kit, contact Eco Spill today.