It is extraordinary that even under the intense scrutiny around the start‐up of parts of Orica’s Kooragang
Island facility, about 20,000 litres of ammonium nitrate have leaked at the facility late this afternoon in the
fourth toxic incident in recent months, according to the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.
“The latest in a succession of high‐profile toxic pollution incidents at Orica’s Kooragang Island facility
reinforces widespread concern about the repeated breaches by the company, and the broader failures of
industrial pollution regulation in NSW,” Chief Executive Officer Pepe Clarke said today.
“It is clear that Orica has comprehensively failed to remedy flaws in its risk management procedures,
leaving the community and the environment exposed to serious pollution risks in the future.
“With today’s resignation by chief environmental regulator Greg Sullivan, Environment Minister Robyn
Parker will be left with the challenge of cleaning up polluting industry and restoring confidence in our
state’s pollution control system.
“The Minister must send a clear signal to industry that compliance and risk management procedures must be improved substantially, in line with community expectations.
“The Nature Conservation Council urges the State government to take this opportunity to appoint
a strong, independent environmental regulator with the power and resources to crack down on
pollution breaches and drive sustained reductions in air, water and soil pollution,” Mr Clarke said.
Front page photo: Orica/Newcastle Herald.