COURT: Orica facing $3M fine for 'release of ammonia' at Yarwun
ORICA Australia Pty Ltd could face a fine of more than $3 million after allegedly failing to comply with environmental conditions.
The chemicals manufacturing company is facing three charges of wilfully contravening conditions set out by the Department of Environment and Science.
The matter, which has been ongoing since 2017, was re-mentioned in Gladstone Magistrates Court yesterday.
Outside of court, Orica spokesperson Nerida Mossop said the allegations related to an incident at the company's Yarwun site in 2016.
"(It) occurred on September 23, 2016 during the unloading of an ammonia ship at our Fisherman's Landing facility when there was a release of ammonia from the ammonia flare vent," Ms Mossop said.
She told The Observer that authorities, who were immediately notified of the incident, conducted a subsequent review which was later provided to DEHP (now the Department of Environment and Science).
"Emergency procedures were implemented, which involved using water to convert the gaseous ammonia emitted from the flare vent to a safer, liquid form. This liquid passed into a roadside drain," she said.
"Blocks were inserted into the drain and the water was collected and transferred to Orica's manufacturing site for management."
On a previous occasion in court late last year, the defence said the matter was "complex" because it related to an industrial site.
However, it is understood the matter is now approaching its final days in court, with the next mention set for March 21.
Yesterday afternoon, defence lawyer April Freeman appeared by phone for Orica while Paul Brown represented the department.