Tuesday, 24th April 2018
Data on emissions from the coal-powered Cockburn Cement facility in Munster have been kept a secret from the public despite persistent community backlash by residents against unacceptable pollution.
The Clean Energy Regulator, which collects and publishes data on facility level emissions, is unable to make public the details of the Cockburn Cement facility as the National Energy and Greenhouse Reporting Act 2007 allows for polluters to apply for commercially sensitive information to be withheld from the public. The WA Department of Water and Environmental Regulation is also prevented from releasing the results of investigations for the same reason.
In response to questions asked by The Greens (WA) Environment spokesperson Robin Chapple in parliament, the Government has acknowledged pollution from Cockburn Cement appears to be damaging resident’s homes, with particulate matter taking on cement-like qualities when coming into contact with water.
Mr Chapple has called on the Minister to force Cockburn Cement to clean up its act in line with community health expectations.
“Local residents have been putting up with absolutely noxious pollution in their community, and instead of opting for transparency and committing to a cleaner way forward, Cockburn Cement has had its emissions data withheld from the public eye,” Mr Chapple said.
“This is the only coal fired facility within metropolitan Perth, so strict regulations need to be put in place to protect local residents from the huge public health risks associated with coal.
“The Greens are backing the intent of local resident Gregory Hocking’s submission, because public health and environmental concerns are paramount to any continuation of the Cockburn Cement facility.
“Of particular concern is that numerous complaints have been made to the department about health risks and contamination, with very little action taken to protect residents.
Media Contact: Liam Carter – 0449 151 490