Reporting a discharge of a scheduled substance

According to the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 a scheduled substance includes a range of products that have been identified as ozone depleting or a synthetic greenhouse gas as listed in Schedule 1 (of the Act). Where a scheduled substance is discharged into the environment, Section 45B of the Act calls for the discharged to be reported.

CEO, Firewize
30 Aug, 2021
ODS SGG Discharge Flowchart

The Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 is federal Government legislation that sets out the system of system of controls on the manufacture, import and export of ozone depleting substances and synthetic greenhouse gasses and provide industry a framework for responsible management of scheduled substances so as to minimise their impact on the atmosphere.

According to Section 45B of the Act, there are certain circumstances where it is an offence (with strict financial penalties or civil penalties) for certain discharges of a scheduled substance.

In order to determine root cause of a discharge a report should be prepared by the relevant person (fire services contractor or property owner or owners agent).

The Fire Protection Industry (ODS & SGG) Board provides a template for reporting a discharge of a scheduled substance. A copy of this form can be accessed online here;

The Board also publishes a tips sheet for "Minimising accidental discharges of extinguishing agents" which includes the following advice;

  1. Ensure all gas storage container valve discharge outlets are capped and are out of the way of pressure relief devices.
  2. Use gas storage container valve discharge caps that are rated one and a half times the working pressure of the container.
  3.  Ensure you remove actuators from container valves before carrying out maintenance work.
  4. Check for leaks, worn down valves, hose lines, and loosely secured pins.
  5. If you identify any defects that could cause an accidental discharge:
    • immediately advise the owner
    • where possible, take corrective action
    • record the issue and corrective actions in the maintenance record

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Common Ozone Depleting Substances & Synthetic Greenhouse Gasses used in Fire Protection

According to the Fire Protection Industry (ODS & SSG) Board the following Ozone Depleting Substances & Synthetic Greenhouse Gasses are used in the fire protection industry;

Commonly used ODS and SGG extinguishing agents used in fire protection
Trade Name Use or Application Extinguishing Agent Name
Halon 1211 Typically used as a streaming agent. Requires a halon special permit in Australia. Bromochlorodifluoromethane
(BCF)
Halon 1301 Typically used as a total flooding agent. Requires a halon special permit in Australia. Bromotrifluoromethane
(BTM)
NAF-P-III Typically used as a streaming agent and commonly used as a replacement for Halon-1211. HCFC Blend C
NAF-S-III Typically used as a total flooding agent and commonly used as a replacement for halon-1301 HCFC Blend A
FM-200®
FE-227TM
Functions as a total flooding agent. Typical applications could include chemical storage areas, clean rooms, communications facilities, laboratories, museums, robotics and emergency power facilities. Heptafluoropropane
HFC-227ea

References (Legislation)

The legislation covering Australia's control the manufacture, import, export, use, handling and disposal of Ozone Depleting Substances and Synthetic Greenhouse Gasses is covered by the following Act's and Regulations;

This legislation helps implement Australia commitment to Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol.