In response to an incident at the Orica site in Newcastle on Monday 8th August, Orica was ordered to immediately cease operations and fully cooperate with Office of Environment and Heritage investigators.
The incident, which involved a short emission of Hexavalent Chromium from the plant, appears to have been largely contained within the Orica site on Kooragang Island, however some nearby houses in the area of Stockton bounded by Fullerton Street, Griffith Avenue, Barrie Crescent and Flint Street were affected - to date no health impacts have been reported.
Investigations into the incident are underway and Orica has been directed to provide detailed statements about operating procedures at the plant.
OEH is working closely with NSW Health, and NSW Fire and Rescue (HAZMAT) to make sure that Orica implements a comprehensive cleanup of the properties impacted by the incident and is communicating with the community and relevant stakeholders to ensure everyone is kept informed of the latest developments.
NSW Health has released a fact sheet about Hexavalent Chromium and precautionary advice to residents who may have been impacted by the incident. That information can be found at - www.health.nsw.gov.au/news/2011/20110811_00.html