Last week’s release of mercury into the atmosphere from the Orica plant in Botany is, perhaps, a spill too many.
Our questioning of Orica’s operations, and its misfortunes, has been on-going for years. For years we questioned the impacts on the Botany groundwater from Orica and were always told everything was fine. Then we checked ourselves and the true pollution became apparent. This led to an Orica clean-up, of sorts.
Next there was the mercury clean-up, which began this year and was found to be useless within weeks. Unfortunately Orica never told us about that.
Then there are the dangerous chemicals stored on the site until Orica finds a way to destroy them safely.
Then there are the chemicals that are expelled into the air.
And last week, yet another spill as mercury (above the safe levels as defined by NSW Health) found its way into the atmosphere.
Again, Orica didn’t tell anyone for a few hours, much the same as Orica did in Newcastle a few weeks ago.
At least this time, NSW Health is involved and I trust them to tell us the truth. Not like the Office of Environment and Heritage, which, like its predecessor the Department of the Environment, always assures us everything is fine – that is until we find out the opposite.
I’m looking forward to the State Government’s report into Orica to see if, perhaps, now we may know the truth of the way this company goes about its operations. Maybe it’s time for Orica to go – to locate where there are no residents for hundreds of kilometres. But then Orica could be a threat to remote plant and animal life.