Cockburn Cement has successfully overturned an environmental licence condition that would have required it to fit expensive pollution control equipment to one of its kilns after the company appealed to the Supreme Court.
Environment Minister Bill Marmion touted tough new licence conditions in May after years of complaints from residents near the company’s Munster plant about dust and odour - complaints the company claimed it was taking seriously by boosting its "community engagement" program.
Neither Mr Marmion nor Cockburn Cement announced that the company had appealed against those conditions until the Government put out a media release with the result of the case last night.
Shadow environment minister Fran Logan said the silence about the appeal from Cockburn Cement and Mr Marmion was "the height of gutless, spineless behaviour".
A spokeswoman for Mr Marmion said the appeal had deleted the condition about fitting the technology to kiln five by November next year but other conditions had been toughened.
These included requirements for the company to get Department of Environment and Conservation approval before resuming the feed of raw materials to kilns that exceed certain dust levels, publish real time kiln dust emissions data on a company website and respond to complaints within 72 hours.
Cockburn Cement operations manager Darrin Strange said the company did not want to add the pollution prevention technology, which is unproved, to kiln five until it had done so on kiln six and demonstrated it was effective.