Supervising Scientist Report 170
Environment Australia, 2002
ISBN 0 642 24376 X
- SSR170 - Investigation of the Stockpiling and Reporting Incidents at Ranger and Jabiluka 2002 - Main Report (PDF - 992KB)
- SSR170 - Investigation of the Stockpiling and Reporting Incidents at Ranger and Jabiluka 2002 - Appendices (PDF - 1,014KB)
The report has resulted from an investigation by the Supervising Scientist of two incidents that occurred at Ranger and Jabiluka during January and February 2002. These were:
- the incorrect management of the Grade 2 Stockpile at Ranger; and
- the failure by ERA to immediately notify authorities of the exceedance of action levels in Swift Creek downstream from Jabiluka.
An important conclusion regarding these incidents has been that neither resulted in any harm to the environment of Kakadu National Park or to the health of people living in the region. This conclusion is supported by all stakeholders including the Traditional Owners of the Ranger and Jabiluka sites.
It has also been concluded that neither of the above incidents constitutes a breach of either the Northern Territory or the Commonwealth's statutory requirements of ERA.
These incidents resulted from the failure of ERA to have adequate systems in place to ensure the implementation of environmental management plans and the examination and interpretation of data obtained in monitoring programs, rather than any failure to have such plans and programs in place.
In the course of this review, ERA has made a number of commitments to address this failure. Many of these commitments are detailed measures designed to improve ERA's environmental performance and these are supported by the Northern Territory Government, the Northern Land Council and the Supervising Scientist. Of greatest significance has been ERA's commitment, following detailed discussions with the principal stakeholders, to obtaining compliance with, and certification against, the International Standard ISO 14001. Had ERA not agreed to this action, it would have been a recommendation of this report that it be required to do so. The reason we place such emphasis on the adoption of ISO 14001 is that compliance with this standard will, in the opinion of the Supervising Scientist and the other principal stakeholders, adequately address the deficiencies identified in this report.
12 April 2002