November 22, 2019 - For immediate release

Koppers media release on court action re October 2018 incident

Please attribute this statement to Nick Moretti, Koppers’ Newcastle plant operations manager.

The EPA is taking court action against Koppers in relation to a leak of coal tar pitch which occurred at the Mayfield plant on 20 October 2018.

Koppers regrets that this incident occurred and has taken action to minimise the risk of this occurring again.

We conducted an immediate investigation of the October 2018 incident and have been co-operating fully with the EPA to assist with its investigation.

We are continuing to improve the performance of our Newcastle plant by implementing further plant upgrades and pollution reduction programs.

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:

  • a $1.5 million thermal oxidation system to further treat already wet scrubbed fumes
  • more than $13 million on ongoing inspections, maintenance and refurbishments of our storage and production tanks
  • a $650,000 cooling tower upgrade to eliminate odours from treatment chemicals
  • a $2 million “leak free” upgrade of pumps and seals to eliminate potential sources of odour.

Additional measures required by the EPA or identified by Koppers are underway. These include the installation of pressure sensors inside all tanks at the plant as part of enhanced air emissions and odour controls.

Koppers strives to operate its plant in an environmentally responsible manner to and will continue to identify and implement further improvements to the site.

Media information: Craig Eardley on 0437 477 493