Randwick City Council is calling for a fresh round of independent testing for mercury contamination around the Orica site in Botany.

1st March 2013

The considered extent of possible mercury contamination around Orica's Botany plant includes an area of Randwick City Council lying east of Bunnerong Road between Fitzgerald and Wassell street.

The EPA has announced that it will conduct an independent review of all information around mercury emissions. But Randwick Greens Councillors want to clarify whether it plans to just review past studies or whether it will undertake new tests.

"It will involve a thorough analysis of available data to determine if any further information is needed to assess residual health risks, to the adjacent community, associated with mercury emissions from the former plant." (EPA media release, Jan 25 2013)

This is important because no testing for mercury contamination has yet been done on land off the actual plant site. Greens MLC Cate Faehrmann was recently told so by the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment.

"No soil sampling has been carried out outside the Orica plant. Sampling in the vicinity of the Chlor Alkali plant, the primary source of mercury, has identified the area of mercury contamination." (State Government reply to question in parliament by Greens MLC Cate Faehrmann)

The final resolution adopted by Council from a motion by Greens Councillor Murray Matson reads,

"That Council respond to the EPA's announced review of historical mercury emissions at Orica's Botany plant urging it to conduct a fresh round of independent testing rather than limiting its review to existing studies."