Smelter told to improve

THE Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) has ordered Boyne Smelters Ltd to improve its environmental performance.

The department’s regional services director, Central West region, Joe Pappalardo, said BSL had to comply with stringent new emission limits to meet industry best-practice standards.

“This will give greater confidence to the Gladstone community and substantially reduce the risk of environmental harm,” Mr Pappalardo said.

The department has changed the conditions of BSL’s development approval to reduce emission limits for fluoride by 20 per cent, dust by 30 per cent and other pollutants by 70 per cent.

The development approval also requires BSL to make changes to its operational procedures and monitoring requirements.

The changes were a result of the BSL Environmental Investigation Report accepted by the department in October last year.

The report identified fluoride, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and dust as the most significant air contaminants produced from the site.

“In issuing a new development approval, the department has effectively overhauled the whole BSL licence to bring it up to

modern condition standards,” Mr Pappalardo said.

“This will require a period of transition and I’m pleased that BSL is currently investing in a range of capital projects associated with their alumina transfer, anode and metal production systems that will substantially reduce their emissions.”

General manager Guy Fortin said Boyne Smelters was working with DERM on establishing agreeable processes to meet these new target requirements.

“The results of our environmental evaluation last year showed there were parts of our operation that required more attention to reduce our emissions to the environment,” Mr Fortin said.

“And we’ve publicly committed to making improvements across our operation.

“We have begun work already, but the new reduced emission limits will require us to work even harder to meet our targets and our current improvement program has already shown some good signs of improvement.”

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