Two recent chemical incidences at Gladstone's Orica

IN light of the "ammonia leak" at an Orica facility in Gladstone's north, we take a look at two incidences at the facility. 

One occurred this month, while the other occurred in 2012. 

Aerial photography of Gladstone region taken February 27th, 2011: Orica.
Aerial photography of Gladstone region taken February 27th, 2011: Orica. Chrissy Harris

September 12, 2016 | 

PARAMEDICS, firefighters and police were called to a "cyanide incident" earlier this month at Orica's Yarwun facility.

As a result, a female worker who was transported to Gladstone Hospital for blood tests.

She was taken to hospital after she reported being wet during maintenance activities on the cyanide plant.

"As a precautionary measure, she and the Yarwun site followed all safety response procedures," an Orica spokesperson said.

"Which included transporting her to Gladstone Hospital for blood testing. We expect to have the results this afternoon."

Gladstone Fire Station acting station officer Chris Brett said the area was all safe when the fire crews arrived on scene.

"Orica staff had already rendered all the possible sodium cyanide solution," he said.

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June, 12, 2012 |

In June 2012 the Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection launched a prosecution against Orica for discharging effluent water containing cyanide.

Orica has been charged with 279 offences of willfully contravening a development condition of a development approval, in contravention of section 435(1) of the Environmental Protection Act 1994. The alleged offending conduct included:

• Releasing contaminants in excess of licence limits;
• Failing to notify the department upon becoming aware of contraventions; and
• Failing to test for contaminants prior to releasing effluent.

Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection at the time Andrew Powell said his department became aware of the suspected breaches in March 2012 and immediately started an investigation.

"The department became aware of allegations that on multiple occasions Orica had discharged effluent water containing cyanide in excess of permitted levels," he said.

Read full story here



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