June 22, 2020 - For immediate release
Please attribute this statement to Nick Moretti, Koppers’ Newcastle plant operations manager.
Newcastle manufacturer, Koppers, has taken corrective action following two onsite incidents at its Mayfield plant in 2019.
The NSW EPA has fined Koppers a total of $30,000 for the July 2 and August 15 incidents.
Plant operations manager, Nick Moretti, said Koppers has updated operating procedures, trained staff in those procedures and installed new monitoring equipment.
We immediately investigated both incidents, took corrective action, and assisted the EPA with its investigations,” Mr Moretti said.
“Since we have installed the new pressure sensors and vent sensors, we have not had a similar incident,” he said.
The other, alleged, pollution breaches which the EPA currently has before the NSW Land and Environment Court occurred before these two incidents – in 2018 and May 2019.
“Koppers has been working with the EPA to improve the plant’s performance through plant equipment and systems upgrades as well as better communication with the local community.”
Since 2008, Koppers has spent $40 million on capital projects to improve the efficiency and performance of the Mayfield plant. Of that, $19 million has been spent on projects focused on environmental improvements including more than $13 million on ongoing inspections, maintenance and refurbishments of our storage and production tanks. Koppers has started providing community updates on its operations and is forming a community reference group.
Koppers Newcastle beneficially reuses coal tar from Australian steelworks to produce coal tar pitch – an essential raw material for Australian aluminium smelters – as well as carbon black feedstock oil, naphthalene, and timber preservation creosote. Its Mayfield plant has been operating for more than 50 years and employs around 60 people.
Media information: Craig Eardley on 0437 477 493