MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Mining companies fined for air pollution

Published by MAC on 2004-12-23


Mining company fined for air pollution

December 23, 2004

ABC News

A Perth magistrate has imposed a $60,000 fine on mining company Alcoa for polluting the air around its Wagerup refinery.

Alcoa pleaded guilty to the pollution charge that related to Bauxite residue dust blowing over Wagerup and Yarloop, south of Perth, in November 2002.

Twenty-two people reported suffering flu-like symptoms as a result of the dust.

Magistrate Ivan Brown took into consideration that Alcoa had spent millions of dollars upgrading its alarm and sprinkler systems, some of which were not operating on the day of the incident.

Alcoa was also ordered to pay $10,000 in court costs.

The chairman of a local resident action group, Tony Hall, says the $60,000 fine is not enough.

"We're not that impressed by it. There's been over 5,000 complaints against this operation. Half a million dollars is chump change to that sort of a company," he said.


Copper mining company fined over emission reporting errors

December 23, 2004

Associated Press

Tucson, Ariz - Asarco mining has been fined 80-thousand dollars for errors it made in reporting emissions at its copper smelter in Hayden.

The Environmental Protection Agency says the company failed to accurately report levels of manganese released in 1998 and 1999.

EPA also fined Asarco for chromium, nickel compounds, cadmium compounds and lead compounds released in 1998.

An EPA spokeswoman says the fine stems not from the amounts released, but for a failure to submit complete and correct information.

Asarco has since corrected the information on its reports.

The Phoenix-based company is a copper-mining subsidiary of Grupo Mexico, which bought the company in 1999.

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