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BHP Steel today advised that the discharge of waste processed water into the main drain at the Port Kembla Steelworks was stopped at about 1am this morning.

President BHP Flat Products Lance Hockridge commended the many people who worked around the clock to fix the problem as quickly as possible.

"I would like to personally thank all of those who have worked to rectify the operational problems in the 7A coke battery, and subsequently stop the overflow of waste processed water into the Steelworks' drain," he said.

"This is a regrettable incident and we are already working to repair the damage to Allans Creek and to ensure that it is not repeated."

"BHP Steel is a responsible member of the Illawarra community and we are committed to achieving the highest standards of operational and environmental performance."

As detailed yesterday, the source of the 'flushing liquor' contamination was stopped at 4am that morning. Normal 'flushing liquor' was subsequently restored to the 7A coke battery - replacing the fresh water that was used temporarily to maintain safe operations at the Steelworks. This substantially reduced the quantity of water discharging into the main drain.

By mid-evening on Tuesday, 23 October BHP Steel commenced reclaiming water from the emergency retention basin for use in the coke battery quenching process and ultimately ceased discharge to the drain at 1am this morning.

The company is progressively returning to normal operations in the 7A coke battery and an investigation into the cause of the tar blockage is continuing. BHP Steel will also continue liaising with the New South Wales Environmental Protection Authority following the discharge.

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