EPA visit for Nyrstar’s licence renewal

LICENCE: Nathan Ward and Rachel Hudson from the EPA.
LICENCE: Nathan Ward and Rachel Hudson from the EPA.

EPA visit Pirie for Nyrstar’s two year licence renewal

The Environment Protection Authority were in Pirie earlier this week to provide locals with a chance to voice their concerns or suggestions for the conditions of the new two-year interim licence which Nyrstar will apply for. 

Nyrstar’s current licence expires on June 30 and to allow time for the redevelopment project to be commissioned, the EPA are only seeking an interim two year licence, before a 10 year licence is applied for afterwards. 

Representatives of the EPA, Rachel Hudson the principal adviser for community engagement and Nathan Ward, the senior environment adviser explained that they came to speak with the people of Pirie about the licence and to allow them to bring up anything that they believe may help.

“We know that the Port Pirie community is generally well-informed about Nyrstar, it is certainly evident coming up here. The TLAP stuff is well advertised, you can pretty much tell that the community is informed. We wanted to make sure that if people did want to speak to us that we were here and available to them.”

The new licence will come into affect on July 1 and will not change the existing lead in air (LIA) limits, but will strengthen a lot of old conditions which Rachel Hudson says are currently not fit for purpose. 

“It just tightens it up a bit to make sure they are really achieving the best that they can during this commissioning process. There is a series of existing conditions in their licence. What this looks to do, is simplify it.”

The notable changes which will be present in the licence are more specified around the activities that have changed at Nyrstar as a part of the new technology ramp up. 

Mr Ward explains that the LIA limits will not be changed under the new licence as the EPA are bound to an Act of parliament.

“We can’t actually change the targets for the LIA limits, and we are bound by an act of parliament and this act says that upon satisfaction that the technology is up and running and Nyrstar have told the EPA and they have agreed, that is when the Act of parliament seizes to exist and the new LIA are set.”

The ten year licence, after the expiary of the interim licence will be inclusive of the new LIA and these will be measured over a six month period by the EPA to determine what the correct levels are and what is required of Nyrstar. 

“We will have six months to determine the new targets and limits to be set, hence why we are guided based on what Nyrstar have said in terms of getting that plant to stable, they have advised one a half to two years, hence why we have the interim licence.”

“Opportunity exists now to update all the new conditions and once we have the targets and limits in place, we will then roll over the new licence”, Mr Ward explained. 

The EPA still want to hear from local residents who may have any questions or concerns about the changes that are proposed to the Nyrstar interim licence conditions. 

A summary of the changes to the licence are available on their website, or the EPA are taking submissions in writing or via email to the Environment Protection Authority, Resources and Energy- Nyrstar Licence Renewal, GPO Box 2607, Adelaide, SA, 5001 or via email on engage.epa@sa.gov.au.