WAGGA WAGGA, AUSTRALIA -- Big River Group Pty Ltd. of Wagga Wagga, Australia, pleaded guilty in the Land and Environment Court to polluting a local wetland.

The company, which acquired the plant in 2007 formerly operated by Ausply, was fined $67,000 (AUS) and ordered to pay nearly $60,000 in costs.

Testimony given in November 2009 indicated that a pump was activated at the causing some 6,000 liters of toxic resin to overflow from a mixing tank. Some of the resin spilt into the storm water system and flowed into a nearby wetland. Additional evidence that was admitted in court proved there was no alarm system or cut-off switch in place at the time of the incident. Those safeguards have since been implemented at the plant.

Wetland samples collected and tested indicated the toxic levels of the chemicals could kill animal life, including fish, frogs and tadpoles.

Posted by Rich Christianson

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