Adani Australia has released test results it says indicate no coal sludge was contained in flood waters which entered wetlands adjacent to its Abbot Point coal terminal last week.
The company’s Abbot Point Operations also confirmed that flood waters moving across the site last week did not enter the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
It said the flood water did enter the Caley Valley Wetlands via an authorised release point, as well as from the wetland’s broader catchment area.
Abbot Point Operations said the flood water was sent for analysis to an accredited third party, confirming the “total suspended solids” , or volume of other debris materials (like soil, plant material, dust and other particulate material) within the flood water, was 58 milligrams per litre.
Abbot Point Operations chief executive officer Dwayne Freeman said the flood water was not “coal-laden sludge” .
“This is a very minor elevation in total suspended solids, following an extraordinary weather event that caused flooding and damage to much of North Queensland, including many homes, businesses and farms,” Mr Freeman said.
“These preliminary test results are a testament to the infrastructure upgrade program and the tireless work of our dedicated employees.
“We are confident there will be no environmental impacts to the wetlands area, despite this unprecedented weather event.
“Normally a company would not release its test results, but we recognise there is a high level of public interest in the Abbot Point terminal’s operations, and as a result of this, we are releasing these results in an effort to keep the community informed and to demonstrate our commitment to operating transparently and with integrity.”
Mr Freeman said that Abbot Point Operations was working closely with officials from the State Government’s Department of Environment and Science in relation to the flood waters entering the wetlands.
“Once we found the flood waters had moved across the site and into the wetlands, we notified the Department of Environment and Science,” Mr Freeman said.
“We have had department officials onsite last Friday who undertook their own inspections and monitoring.”
Mr Freeman said that monitoring and inspections on site had given port officials a better understanding of the reasons for flood waters entering the wetlands.
“The weather has been extreme up here at Abbot Point (and) heavy rainfall has seen a significant amount of water accumulating on the port site and surrounding properties,” he said.
“The flood water from our neighbouring properties on February 7 could not be contained any longer and exceeded our systems’ capacity, resulting in flood water entering the wetlands.”