Prosecution of CSR Building Products Limited for pollution of waters

On 14 August 2008, the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales found CSR Building Products Limited (ACN 008 631 356) (CSR) a wholly owned subsidiary of CSR Limited guilty of an offence against the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997, in that it caused the pollution of the Parramatta River between the Rydalmere Ferry Wharf and the Camellia Rail Bridge at Camellia.

CSR pleaded guilty to the charge and the Court found that, among other things:

  1. On 14 July 2006 to 15 July 2006 between 2,250 and 3,250 litres of Durasol GEP2, a flammable substance which is toxic to aquatic organisms, escaped into the Parramatta River;

  2. The escape was caused by the overflow of a tank that was not stored in a bundedarea on the premises and a failure to implement adequate processes to monitor such storage;

  3. The substance entered a stormwater drain adjacent to the CSR premises at Camellia and flowed into the Parramatta River;

  4. The two day clean up operation involved Sydney Ports Authority, NSW Maritime Authority, Parramatta City Council, NSW Fire Brigades and Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC) and cleaning costs incurred by Sydney Ferries.

CSR was ordered to pay a penalty of $280,000 to the Parramatta City Council to fund part of the Parramatta River Fishways Project at the existing Marsden Street Weir. CSR was also ordered to pay the EPA’s costs plus the clean up costs.

CSR co-operated with the DECC throughout the investigation.

CSR was prosecuted by the EPA, a part of the Department of Environment and Climate Change. This notice is placed by order of the Land and Environment Court and is paid for by the defendant CSR.