Submission on BHP Olympic Dam
Medical Association for Prevention of War has made a submission to the federal government on the BHP Olympic Dam Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) 6 project.
We've made four key recommendations:
1) That no new TSF is permitted until a design is proposed that adequately addresses the environmental impacts and employee risk considerations as customary under Australian legal frameworks and regulation. Yet another “extreme risk” TSF is not acceptable.
2) That existing “extreme risk” TSFs 1-5 be immediately reviewed and remediated appropriately to meet best practice standards. Evaporation ponds need to be phased out, as per the EPBC conditions from 2011.
3) That the entire Olympic Dam mine operations be reviewed and subject to assessment with regard to all impacts on the environment.
4) That BHP immediately provide an independently determined realistic bond for deep burial of tailings and mine rehabilitation, sufficient to address the major environmental toxicities and health liabilities that will otherwise remain for thousands of years.
The proposed new facility does not meet acceptable standards, and highlights existing inadequate regulation.