1997-2001: Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale (WA) Landfill. Pesticides: Dieldrin, Chlorpyrifos

“… In 1997, the bio-accumulative carcinogen Dieldrin (used as an insecticide) was found in water running off site at 0.004 ug/L. Each year, higher levels have been found — 0.08 ug/L in 1998, 0.16 ug/L in 1999, 0.32 ug/L in 2000, and 0.4 ug/L in 2001. Dieldrin and Chlorpyrifos have been found in dangerous levels in surrounding streams and groundwater, including in the bore water that a neighbouring family was drinking.

Despite such evidence, the Waters and Rivers Commission gave approval to MRI to discharge into a local waterway, justifying the decision on the basis that no stock accessed the water. According to Nield: “Unfortunately, sheep cannot read WRC reports. We showed the WRC photos of white woolly things going ‘Baa!’ that were drinking the water, and they stressed out saying that [the sheep] shouldn’t [do that]. Too late!” About 30 sheep died, but their carcasses mysteriously disappeared before tissue samples could be taken for testing…”