Feb 19, 2019

State Government wants explanation from Adani over wetlands spill

State Government wants explanation from Adani over wetlands spill The State Government is investigating the release of water from Adani's Abbot Point site into nearby wetlands earlier this month.

Adani has been asked by the State Government to explain how water from its Abbot Point operation spilled into nearby wetlands during flooding earlier this month.

The Department of Environment and Science said it had issued Adani with a show cause letter on February 15 inviting it to make representations as to why enforcement action should not be taken over the spill.

“On February 13, the DES received results from water testing it undertook at the Abbot Point coal terminal on February 8,” a DES spokesperson said.

“The results indicate the total suspended solids (TSS) in the sample, taken from a release point that flows to the adjacent Caley Valley Wetland, to be 33 mg/L.

“The coal terminal operator’s environmental authority imposes a maximum limit of 30 mg/L for TSS in water released from this point.

“The terminal’s operators undertook their own sampling at this release point on February 7 and have advised the DES that TSS in the sample at that time were 58 mg/L.

“The difference in sampling results may be caused by the time between testing on February 7 (by the company) and February 8 (by the DES).

“No temporary emissions licence has been issued in relation to this release event.”

The DES said a copy of its sampling results had been provided to Adani and an investigation into the alleged non-compliance had commenced in accordance with its standard procedures.

Meanwhile, the DES said it was visiting about 20 mines and industrial facilities in response to recent flooding in north and north-west Queensland.

“These sites were identified as priority sites based on the extent of potential flooding impacts associated with the recent weather event,” the DES spokesperson said.

“This includes sites in and around Townsville as well as north-west Queensland.

“The inspection program included the Capricorn Copper Mine, located approximately 130km north of Mount Isa.

“The inspection identified that the releases notified by the site had ceased.”

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