Chemical company fined over liquid soap spill 

Media release
A Perth manufacturing company has been fined $5,000 and ordered to pay clean-up costs after a large quantity of liquid soap was discharged onto the verge and within the grounds of  Whiteman Park in Perth’s northern suburbs. 

Witnesses reported the incident after spotting a volume of liquid being discharged from a 1,000 litre container on the back of a truck near the intersection of Marangaroo Drive and Hepburn Avenue, Cullacabardee  around 9am on 12 May 2018.  
  
The company responsible, JMAC (WA) Pty Ltd, was later charged under Section 49A(3) of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 with discharging waste. The maximum penalty for a company is $125,000.  
  
JMAC (WA) Pty Ltd is a manufacturing company that produces a range of hospital grade sanitising products. One of JMAC's products was a liquid hand soap known as Rose, which was the substance that leaked.  
  
The liquid soap was being transported in a large, caged plastic tank known as an intermediate bulk container (IBC) on the back of a white Mazda Truck. The driver was alerted by a motorist that a substance was leaking out of the back of the truck.  
  
He pulled over to the side of the road and the contents discharged. The driver failed to report the incident and took no further action to remedy the discharged liquid.  
  
The area where the liquid discharged is within the Gnangara Underground Water Pollution Control Area, which is also known as the Public Drinking Water Source Protection Area and 500 metres to 1 kilometre of shallow aquifer bores within that are vulnerable to contamination activities on the surface.  
  
Clean-up crews managed to prevent the liquid soap from reaching underground water stores.  
  
The Department of Planning Lands and Heritage paid for the clean-up and disposal of the discharged liquid and affected soil. The total cost incurred by the department was $7,940.00.   
 
JMAC (WA) Pty Ltd was fined $5,000, ordered to pay the $7,940 clean-up costs and further costs of $2,091.89. 
  
Senior Investigator at the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, Cliff Bliss, said the actions of the public helped track down the company responsible for discharging the waste.  
  
“I’d like to thank the people who came forward and reported the offence,” Mr Bliss said.  
  
“The chemicals had a real and dangerous potential to negatively impact the environment, but because of the quick actions of witnesses, DFES, WA Police and the clean-up team, a more serious situation was avoided.”   
  
Illegal dumping can be reported to DWER's Pollution Watch Hotline on 1300 784 782,  to pollutionwatch@dwer.wa.gov.au, or Crimestoppers. 
 

Page reviewed 19 August 2021