25 March 2019
Adani breaks law again, approval process should halt
• No approvals should be granted until current court action and investigations conclude
• Suitable operator status should be reviewed
Adani’s latest fine, issued by the Queensland government for releasing coal sludge into sensitive wetlands, shows yet again that Adani can’t be trusted to obey Australian laws or protect the environment, precious groundwater and the Great Barrier Reef (Courier Mail online tonight, Adani fined for releasing contaminated water from Abbot Point terminal in February paywalled see text below).
Mackay Conservation Group is calling for no further approvals to be granted to the miner before current court action and investigations conclude, and for the Queensland government to undertake a review of Adani’s suitable operator status.
Peter McCallum, Co-ordinator of the Mackay Conservation Group said, “The writing is on the wall - Adani can’t be trusted to obey Australian laws and governments must act by putting a pause on further approvals until all current investigations conclude.
“The Queensland government is currently prosecuting Adani for polluting the Great Barrier Reef at Abbot Point and is also investigating Adani for illegal drilling into groundwater at their mine site. Now Adani has been fined for polluting precious wetlands next to their port.
“Adani has a long history of shonky behaviour and an appalling record of environmental destruction and prosecutions overseas.
“Their record is clearly very worrying and a responsible government would not be rushing ahead, but closely examining whether Adani is fit to operate in Queensland.
“Adani released almost double the amount of pollutants into sensitive wetlands allowed, breaking the law. This is the second pollution incident of the wetlands in just two years and the miner is currently in court for polluting the Great Barrier Reef.
“Adani is operating a coal terminal in a cyclone-prone area that cannot withstand a cyclone, or even heavy rain, without risk of polluting the Reef and the Caley Valley Wetlands.
“There needs to be real-time monitoring of water quality at Abbot Point coal terminal. While there isn’t, we can never reveal the extent of the pollution or allow Adani to be properly held to account.
“The sad thing is extreme weather events are only set to become worse in Queensland, and burning the coal from Adani’s mine would accelerate them further”.
Media contact: Peter McCallum 0402 966 560
Adani fined for releasing contaminated water from Abbot Point terminal in February
25 March 2019
ADANI has been fined $13,000 for breaching its environmental licence at the Abbot Point coal terminal during the February flood catastrophe.
The mining giant revealed the Department of Environment and science had issued a fine of $13,055 on Monday after Adani released water containing nearly double the amount of contaminants allowed from Abbot Point into the Caley Valley Wetlands.
Adani is allowed to release contaminated water that contains a maximum of 30mg/L of “total suspended solids”, which includes coal sediment.
A spokeswoman for Abbot Point Operations said a sample taken on the day the water was released, analysed by an accredited third-party, confirmed it contained 58mg/L of total suspended solids.
“The following day Queensland Government environment officials were onsite undertaking their own inspections and taking monitoring samples, which returned a result of 33mg/L,” she said.
More than 900mm of rain fell at Abbot Point between December and the time the water was released on February 7.
Adani is expected to make a decision on whether it will fight the charge or cop the fine in coming days.
The company has said there was “no environmental harm” to the Caley Valley Wetlands, that no floodwater entered the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, and that elevation of contaminant levels was a “fraction of the levels usually found in flood events”.
This is the second time Adani has been fined for breaching its environmental licence.
It is still fighting a prosecution by the DES in relation to its 2017 release of contaminated water from Abbot Point during Cyclone Debbie.
That water was found to contain eight time the authorised concentration of suspended solids.
The Abbot Point Operations spokeswoman said it was in the process of executing more than $15 million in upgrades as part of a $50 million project.
“The works that have been completed to date have greatly assisted in retaining on site the large volume of rainfall that was received,” she said.
“These upgrades include: increasing the volume of water storage ponds, upgrade of a bund wall, including new piping and pump facilities, as well as our early works program on the redesign of remaining water management infrastructure at other release points.
“Further upgrades will be delivered by 2021 and will include: design and construction of an additional water storage pond, upgrades to all other release points, including upgrades to sumps, pumps, and piping.”
Originally published as Adani fined over contaminated water release