Nyrstar Port Pirie licence to set lower lead-in-air limits

REDUCTION: Nyrstar Port Pirie's new licence from the Environement Protection Authority will see a reduction of lead-in-air emissions by 20 per cent over the next 12 months.
REDUCTION: Nyrstar Port Pirie's new licence from the Environement Protection Authority will see a reduction of lead-in-air emissions by 20 per cent over the next 12 months.

Nyrstar Port Pirie will be forced to lower its annual lead-in-air emissions by 20 per cent under a new licence from the Environment Protection Authority.

The new licensing conditions will last over the next 12 months and will include a reduction in lead-in-air emissions from 0.5 micrograms per cubic metre to 0.4 micrograms per cubic metre, measured quarterly.

Environment Protection Authority chief executive Tony Circelli said the township would reap the benefits with Nyrstar meeting the new conditions.

"The new conditions of the Nyrstar licence will require continual, ongoing attention and investment in the smelter operations to reduce emissions," he said.

"This also provides the EPA an opportunity to review, and consider further lead-in-air reductions in the near future."

The Environment Protection Authority will also measure emission targets each month at four locations in and around Port Pirie.

If Nyrstar exceeds the targets, it will be required to notify the Environment Protection Authority and residents, producing a report on the cause and proposing action to avoid exceeding targets in the future.

"The emission reductions combined with educational and community programs, such as the Targeted Lead Abatement Program, will help to reduce the health effects of lead in the air for the community," he said.

A Nyrstar spokesperson said the company has been "working proactively" with the Environment Protection Authority and is committed to improving its lead-in-air performance.

"The new 12-month licence lead-in-air limit of of 0.4 micrograms per cubic metre at Pirie West and Oliver street is a 20 per cent reduction and will be a challenge for Nyrstar Port Pirie to achieve," said the spokesperson.

"Nyrstar is however committed to continuing its work to reduce lead in air emissions and achieve the stretch target the EPA has applied."

The spokesperson said Nyrstar is continuously focusing on implementing initiatives that will have a positive impact on reducing emissions.

"In past months these have included substantial road work improvements in conjunction with the purchase of two new and more highly efficient vacuum road sweepers and the purchase of new fog cannons to minimize movement of fine dust particles," said the spokesperson.

"Nyrstar is committed to continuing to improve and reduce its environmental footprint and to work closely with the Port Pirie Regional Council and residents with the collaborative aim to improve community health and reduce children's blood lead levels."

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