Thursday, 4 April 2012
Bluescope pollution report raises more questions than it answers
Bluescope Steel’s latest report to the state’s pollution regulator reveals that the company breached
its pollution licence once every two weeks, but omits important information about the scale and
impact of these leaks, according to the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.
In its most recent annual return to the NSW Environment Protection Authority, the company’s Port
Kembla steelworks self-reported 25 breaches of its pollution licence, averaging nearly one breach
every fortnight. 
“The EPA’s public register reveals unlawful releases of cyanide, lead and ammonia at the plant,
but provides no information about the volume, destination or environmental impact of the leaks,”
said Pepe Clarke, Chief Executive Officer of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.
“In two cases, the company reported water pollution violations, but the EPA register fails to even
identify which pollutants were involved. This is an extraordinary departure from standard practice,
and a clear failure of the reporting system.
“The information published by the EPA raises more questions than it answers. How much lead was
released unlawfully from the plant? Did the cyanide end up in the air or water? What were the
unidentified pollutants released illegally into the water?
“The community has a right to know the answers to these questions.
“Bluescope Steel is our state’s largest polluter, responsible for releasing tens of millions of
kilograms of pollution into our air and water every year.
“It is totally unacceptable for the EPA to publish such scant information about pollution breaches at
any polluting facility, let alone the state’s largest steelworks.”
“The EPA must review the information recently published on its public register to ensure that the
community is able to access meaningful information about industrial pollution breaches and the risk
that these breaches pose to public health and the environment,” said Mr Clarke.
More information: Jilea Carney, Media and Communications Officer 0478 224 020
 EPA Website. Bluescope Steel (AIS) Pty Ltd (Licence No. 6092), 2010-2011 Annual Return:
www.environment.nsw.gov.au/prpoeoapp. [extract below]
Licence holder: BLUESCOPE STEEL (AIS) PTY. LTD.
PORT KEMBLA STEELWORKS
FIVE ISLANDS ROAD, PORT KEMBLA, NSW, 2505
LGA: WOLLONGONG Catchment: Illawarra Coast
Licence number: 6092
Annual Return Start: 01 Jul 2010
Annual Return End: 30 Jun 2011
Date Received: 29 Aug 2011
Licence Condition number Type of non-compliance No. of incidents
O6.4 Small amount of raw gas emitted from standpipe cap & gas from standpipe. Charger hatch was ignited
due to operator errors. Incidents highlighted for review by all crews.
O6.2 A survey of visible emissions was not conducted on No.4, 5 & 6 batteries. No environmental
consequence. A system has been implemented to ensure completion of the surveyeach day.
E1.3.1 Exceedance of limit on hours of granulation for #5 BF granulator. Hydrogen Sulphide emissions &
impacts reduced since introduction of cold water granulation.
M2.1 Failure to conduct source emission sampling according to Approved Methods due to incorrect sampling
locations and/or facilities. Extensive review & further discussions with EPA to obtain formal approval for
all variations to sampling protocols.
M3.2 Failure to monitor in accordance with Approved Methods. Extensive review & further discussions with
EPA to obtain formal approval for all variations.
L1.1 Discharge to water of substances other than those authorised. Reported to EPA at time of incident. 1
L3.3 Discharge to water of substances other than those authorised. Reported to EPA. 1
L2.2 Nitrogen Oxides limit exceeded, identified during compilation of Annual Return & NOx related Load
Based Licensing calculations. Results of work done under PRP will allow options for optimising flare
emissions to reduce NOX emissions
L3.1 Limit exceeded for Cyanide, Total Iron & Filtered Iron, Lead, TSS & Ammonia on various occasions due to
overflows, tube rupture, & heavy rain. Extensive sampling, excavation & disposal, review of drains &
flow instrumentation, revised procedures.
O2.1 Emissions of raw gas and ignited gas on various occasions resulting from coal feed problems, blockages
& mechanical failures. Inspections undertaken, faults rectified equipment repaired, procedures
O1.1 Emission of iron oxide to air due to reaction between hot metal & moisture trapped. Ceased pouring.
Restarted at reduced rate. Procedure developed for sub-surface moisture. Water from air ducts
proceeded to Harbour. Inspected, repaired & revised.