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Young factory cops pollution fine – EPA

Causmag Ore, the operator of a magnesia factory in Young,
has been fined $82,500 for an incident involving dust pollution.

According to the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA),
the company pleaded guilty in the Land and Environment Court to breaching a
condition of its Environment Protection Licence (EPL).

The breach occurred on 24 and 25 September 2013 when fine
white dust was emitted from the factory for up to 9.5 hours.

The EPA’s investigation concluded that while there was
minimal harm to the environment, there were a number of operational and
management failures which contributed to the dust emission.

The failures included the procedures used in the filter
baghouses, problems associated with the continuous particulate monitor, and inadequate
training of kiln operators.

“These failures were clear breaches of Causmag Ore’s EPL and
showed the company was failing to carry out its activities in a competent
manner,” EPA Director for the South Branch, Gary Whytcross said.

“The incident was clearly within Causmag Ore’s control and
the court’s ruling should send a strong message to all licence holders of the
importance of carrying out regular maintenance, monitoring and training for

In addition to the $82,500 fine, Causmag Ore was also
ordered to pay the EPA’s prosecution and investigation costs totalling $33,220
and to publish details of the offence in the Young Witness.

Since the incident the EPA has been working with Causmag Ore
to implement a Pollution Reduction Program which requires the company to
undertake a range of actions to improve the dust controls for the plant.

Causmag International is a subsidiary of Orind Australia. According
to the Causmag website, the company has been mining and manufacturing magnesium
oxide products for use in agriculture, animal health, industrial and
pharmaceutical processes for over 60 years.

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