Cockburn Cement works - emissions plume

COUNCIL — Tuesday, 1 November 2011]
Hon Lynn MacLaren; Hon Helen Morton


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

I refer to the minister’s response to my question without notice on 18 October 2011.

(1) Is the minister aware that on Sunday, 23 October another emissions plume from the Cockburn Cement
factory in Munster blanketed the suburb of Beeliar and other surrounding areas?

(2) Was the cause of the emission on 23 October 2011 the same as the cause of the similar emission that
occurred on 2 October 2011; namely, “a blockage of the coal fuel feed on Cockburn Cement Limited’s
kiln 4 … which caused a safety system to shut down the pollution abatement system on this kiln”, as
advised by the Department of Environment and Conservation?

(3) If yes to (2), what caused the blockage and what steps have been taken to prevent a similar blockage
from occurring in the future?

(4) If no to (2), what was the cause of the emission?

(5) With regard to DEC’s investigation after the incident on 2 October 2011 “to determine whether
Cockburn Cement Limited’s licence conditions have been breached” —

(a) when will that investigation be completed; and

(b) will its findings be made public?

(6) Will a further investigation be carried out by DEC into the incident on 23 October 2011?

Hon HELEN MORTON replied:

I thank the member for some notice of the question. The Minister for Environment has provided the following
response —

(1) The Department of Environment and Conservation has advised that it received two complaints
regarding dust emissions on 23 October from the Cockburn Cement Ltd Munster operations.

(2) No.

(3) Not applicable.

(4) According to CCL’s continuous emission monitoring system data, there were two short, high emission
events from kiln 5 on 23 October. It appears that the events were the result of the elevator conveying
raw material into the kiln stopping.

(5) (a) DEC is still investigating this incident.

(b) The complainants are advised of the outcome of the investigation. The licensee would be made
aware of the investigation outcome if a sanction is administered.

(6) No. Based on DEC’s assessment of the data and the circumstances of this emission, it has been
determined that a formal investigation is not warranted.