Manufacturing News

Greens say lead reduction target for Nyrstar smelter needs to be lower

South Australian Greens leader Mark Parnell says the lead reduction targets for Nyrstar's Port Pirie smelter upgrade need to be lower.

As the ABC reports, the Nyrstar Port Pirie Smelter Public Environmental Report says the proposed $350 million upgrade of the plant would reduce its lead emissions by half.

Parnell says that an upgrade of that size and cost to tax payers should come with a higher lead emissions target.

He added that one in four local children currently have unacceptably high blood lead levels and that more should be done to reduce that number. 

The site of the smelter site has now been an industrial site for 124 years and the report does not foresee that it would cause any further harm to water, marine, flora or fauna.

However, it says, "Reduction of blood lead levels (in the Port Pirie population) has plateaued and a step change in ongoing emissions from the smelter is required to facilitate the next phase of emission and blood lead level reductions. 

"The primary objective of the Port Pirie smelter transformation is to facilitate that step change by upgrading the smelter's primary lead production facilities."

Belgian-based Nyrstar and the State and Federal Governments have agreed to a $350 million deal for the upgrade, but the company has yet to make a final decision on whether to go ahead with the upgrade.

The report is now open for public comment for six weeks until September 18.


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