The NSW government can no longer treat the litany of pollution incidents at Orica as isolated accidents but must respond urgently to protect communities and the environment, according to the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.
“The release of unlawful levels of mercury emissions at the company’s Port Botany facility in the early
hours of this morning shows a systemic failure by Orica to abide by regulations,” Chief Executive Officer
Pepe Clarke said today.
“Not only do the residents of Botany deserve better, but all of us in NSW deserve assurance that the NSW government will hold Orica accountable.
“Premier O’Farrell must show companies who flout our pollution laws time and again are not welcome in
“It's clear that the EPA (Environmental Protection Authority) needs to take stronger action to send a
message that pollution breaches will not be tolerated. Despite a series of high profile pollution breaches,
there has been no discernible share price impact for Orica – even the market believes the Government and its regulator are toothless tigers.
“Orica should be prosecuted for every one of its pollution breaches, with the regulator seeking the highest penalties available.
“Tough words by Premier O’Farrell that he would go as far as permanently shutting down Orica’s
Kooragang Island chemical should now be matched by action. He should also categorically rule out
approving plans by Orica to expand its Kooragang Island facility and build a new Hunter Valley ammonia
storage facility until the company demonstrates it can operate safely.
“Right across our state, there are chemical facilities in close proximity to communities, waterways and
environmental assets and we must have complete confidence in the systems and monitoring meant to keep us safe,” Mr Clarke said.