Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

EPA issues two penalty notices to Pasminco Cockle Creek Smelter

Media release: 5 April 2016

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has issued two penalty notices to Pasminco Cockle Creek Smelter Pty Ltd for breaching the conditions of its Environment Protection Licence.

EPA Hunter Manager, Adam Gilligan, said that Pasminco failed to monitor water discharged from its premises and also failed to publish monitoring data on its website.

“An investigation by the EPA found that Pasminco had siphoned water from the upslope gully dam and discharged it from the premises between 16 October 2015 and 21 October 2015,” Mr Gilligan said.

“Because Pasminco failed to monitor that discharge for metals and total suspended solids—as required by its environment protection licence—the EPA has issued a $15 000 penalty notice to the company.”

In a review of Pasminco’s website, the EPA identified that Pasminco had also failed to publish monitoring data on its website and was therefore fined $1 000.

“The EPA requires all holders of environment protection licences to publish monitoring data on their website within 14 days of receiving that data,” Mr Gilligan said.

“The community has a right to know what is happening in their backyard and it’s important that they have access to current and regular updates of monitoring data. We expect all licence holders to comply with these conditions.”

Penalty notices are just one of a number of tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance, including formal warnings, licence conditions, notices and directions, mandatory audits, enforceable undertakings, legally binding pollution reduction programs and prosecutions.

The EPA will continue to work with Pasminco to achieve environmental compliance during the remediation and redevelopment of the Cockle Creek site.  

For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy at: http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm

Contact: EPA Public Affairs

Page last updated: 05 April 2016