Environment Minister Bill Marmion today announced he was lifting the order which prevented Magellan Metals from transporting lead carbonate out of its Wiluna mine into Fremantle. Release Date:
23 February 2011Details:
An independent review of Magellan Metals’ air quality monitoring in shipping containers has found that lead levels did not exceed strict limits set as part of approval conditions.
Mr Marmion said the Office of the Environmental Protection Authority (OEPA) was now satisfied the levels were within allowable limits and posed no risk to human health or the environment.
The review of 28 air quality results from the shipping containers was conducted by a Sydney based, NATA* accredited assessor and former CSIRO scientist.
The findings are consistent with the results of independent sampling of shipping containers and nearby soil and drains by the Department of Environment and Conservation which found the containers posed no threat to public health or the environment.
“However, in view of public concern about Magellan Metals’ compliance with its monitoring and reporting requirements I have ordered an Environmental Protection Authority review of the Ministerial conditions,” the Minister said.
“Part of that investigation will look at the possibility of shipping lead carbonate in ingot form.
“While that review is under way, I have imposed a series of interim conditions on the company to strengthen the auditing, monitoring and reporting process.”
The interim conditions include:
- a quarterly rolling audit of the management and monitoring plans by an independent auditor approved by the OEPA (additional to the existing inspection and audit function already performed by Inspectorate Australia)
- putting the legal responsibility on the managing director of the company to personally report results in excess of agreed levels to authorities
- a requirement for random air quality sampling of one per cent of sea containers every three months
- a requirement for posting audit reports on the company website within three business days
- stricter rules around the timing and reporting of sampling and isotopic testing.
Mr Marmion said the results of the independent review, and the additional conditions, meant the orders preventing the transport of lead carbonate could now be lifted.
Magellan Metals has been subject to orders issued on December 31, 2010 and January 3, 2011 requiring transport of lead carbonate to cease.
The Minister said Magellan Metals was still the subject of an ongoing, formal investigation into alleged breach of Ministerial conditions.
“The State Government expects all companies to comply in full with their environmental approval conditions,” he said.
“They are, in effect, a contract with the community to do the right thing.”
*National Association of Testing Authorities
Minister's office - 9220 5000Status: