Audit for Kooragang Island chemical spill plant

NSW premier Barry O’Farrell has announced an audit for Orica’s Kooragang Island ammonia plant.

The announcement was part of a heated State Parliament sessions that saw a massive attack on environment minister Robyn Parker, according to the Newcastle Herald.

The session, which was the first since the chromium six leak at Orica’s Kooragang plant was announced, saw O’Farrell state that a mandatory environmental audit would be undertaken to examine the plant’s operations.

Last week saw the plant report an accidental discharge into the Hunter River of up to 1.2 megalitres of effluent containing arsenic levels above the benchmark limits.

The audit will examine if there are systematic issues at the ammonia plant.

O’Farrell also took the opportunity to accuse Parker of ‘scaremongering’ over the leak.

According to NSW Health, an expert panel found that the levels of chromium six were low and presented no health risks to locals.
Orica recently held a meeting with residents living close to the plant, after its mea culpa over not informing locals of the leak initially.

There have also been moves for a class action suit against the explosives manufacturer.

The plant remains shut down as investigations are carried out by the Government and Orica.
 

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