Penalties for Bayswater Creek Pollution

Hunter Valley Operations Pty Ltd (HVO) has been issued with $30,000 in penalties by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) after the alleged discharge of mine water into Bayswater Creek from the Hunter Valley Operations coal mine, near Muswellbrook.

EPA Director Hunter Karen Marler said the unauthorised discharge from a coal loading area occurred in May this year.

This discharge was caused by a combination of issues relating to the pumping of mine water without correct procedures being in place to prevent an offsite discharge.

Saline polluted mine water flowed into Bayswater Creek for a period of about 29 hours, causing water pollution. The EPA expects that licensed activities, particularly large and complex ones such as coal mines, which have a number of inherent environmental risks, are carried out in a competent manner.

HVO reported the incident to the EPA as required, undertook actions to respond to the incident, including the removal of the mine water from Bayswater Creek, and has reviewed and improved its operations at the Newdell Load Point Facility”, Karen Marler said. 

Penalty notices are one of a number of tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance including formal warnings, official cautions, licence conditions, notices and directions and prosecutions.

For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy at www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm



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