Cockburn Cement works - emissions plume

Extract from Hansard
[COUNCIL — Tuesday, 18 October 2011]
p8103c-8104a
Hon Lynn MacLaren; Hon Helen Morton

COCKBURN CEMENT WORKS — EMISSIONS PLUME

883. Hon LYNN MacLAREN to the minister representing the Minister for Environment:

I refer to the emissions plume near the Cockburn Cement factory in Munster on 2 October 2011.

(1) Is the Minister for Environment aware of the cause of the emission?

(2) If no to (1), will the minister act expeditiously to ascertain the cause?

(3) What steps have been taken to investigate the pollution incident?

(4) What steps have been taken to ensure that it does not recur?

(5) Was the plume analysed to ascertain its content?

(6) If no to (5), why not?

(7) If yes to (5), what was the content of the plume?

(8) Has the minister acknowledged the impacts of the plume on the local community in terms of health,
loss of amenity and inconvenience?

Hon HELEN MORTON replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.

(1)–(2) Yes. The Department of Environment and Conservation has advised that there was a blockage of the
coal fuel feed on Cockburn Cement Limited’s kiln 4 on 2 October 2011, which caused a safety system
to shut down the pollution abatement system on this kiln.

(3) The Department of Environment and Conservation is conducting an investigation to determine whether
Cockburn Cement Limited’s licence conditions have been breached.

(4) Once DEC’s investigation is complete, it will determine what steps Cockburn Cement Limited will
need to take to ensure that the shutdown of the pollution abatement system is minimised.

(5)–(7) No, it is not normal practice for DEC to analyse the content of a plume. Cockburn Cement Limited
provides regular stack sampling results to DEC to indicate what emissions come from the stacks.

(8) DEC received several complaints about this incident and is contacting residents who submitted a
complaint.