Wednesday, 3 June 2009

A good corporate citizen?

The Environment Protection Authority has given Orica Australia Pty Ltd on Kooragang Island a licence to pollute each year up to 137.8 tonnes of Coarse Particulates to the Air, 208.11 tonnes of Fine Particulates to the Air, 644.95 tonnes of Nitrogen Oxides to the Air and 400 tonnes of Nitrogen (total) to the Hunter Estuary.

A full copy of this pollution licence can be found here.

The EPA website shows a history of non-compliance with the licence conditions, though the public register does not show the annual returns for 1 Apr 07 to 31 Mar 08 or 1 Apr 08 to 31 Mar 09.

The most recent non-compliance (for year 1 Apr 06 to 31 Mar 07) includes a non-compliance for:

    • Exceedence of annual limit for Nitrogen (Total) (Estuarine) discharged from Monitoring Point 1. The annual load of nitrogen discharged from Monitoring Point 1 was 514,226kg compared to licence limit of 400,000kg.
    • Arsenic limit in effluent exceeded. Licence limit of 0.05 mg/L compared with the daily result 0.07 mg/L recorded 31/3/07.
    • Exceedence of effluent temperature (43 deg C) for 1.1% of the licence period.
    • Exceedence of NOx concentration level at Monitoring Point 20 (Reformer Stack), with concentration of 0.78g/m3 recorded on 6/9/06 compared to the licence limit of 0.35g/m3.
    • Exceedence of Oil & Grease limit at Monitoring Point 1 (17mg/L).

The most recent time the EPA has fined Orica for non-compliance was in 2005 when it was fined $10,500 for breaching its licence conditions, see convictions in prosecutions or results of civil proceedings and the judgement.

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