Queensland’s Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) announced that will consider compliance action against Adani Abbot Point Bulkcoal in respect of water released under a temporary emissions licence.
Specifically, as EHP informs, the Abbot Point Bulkcoal company was authorised to release water under a temporary emissions licence (TEL), for the period 27 to 30 March, which was granted to assist with site water management during and after TC Debbie. However, despite the total suspended solids releases were authorized to be of up to 100 milligrams per litre, the company provided a report to EHP, on 24 April, advising it had a water discharge on 30 March from a licensed point on the northern side of the terminal, containing 806mg/L of sediment.
Although the company advised EHP that the non-compliant release from the licensed point on the northern side of the terminal did not enter the Caley Valley wetland, and although further investigations by port management indicated that no coal-laden water entered any marine environment, the EHP took sand samples on the beach below the release point, on 20 April, to determine if there was coal present as a result of the water release, and the results are expected by the week beginning 8 May 2017. Based on the report of the investigations, EHP will decide on what, if any, compliance action will occur.
“DEHP will consider appropriate action in response to this non-compliance in accordance with its enforcement guidelines. I want to assure all Queenslanders that as the environmental regulator EHP takes these matters very seriously” said Director General Jim Reeves.
“There are serious penalties for corporations whose non-compliance with their environmental authorities or temporary emissions licences causes environmental harm, including fines of up to $3.8 million if the non-compliance was wilful, or $2.7 million if the non-compliance was unintentional,” he concluded.