Adani fights water fine
ADANI has denied any wrongdoing after being slapped with a $ 12,190 fine by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection for an unauthorised stormwater release during Cyclone Debbie.
The Adani- owned Abbot Point Bulk Coal Pty Ltd was issued a temporary emissions licence on March 27 this year.
The licence permitted an elevated suspended solid limit of 100mg per litre on stormwater releases from the terminal during high rainfall associated with Debbie.
A spokesman for the de- partment said the company advised it on April 6 that a non- compliance with the conditions of the emissions licence had occurred with a release of stormwater from the terminal containing suspended solids recorded at 806 mg per litre.
The stormwater was discharged to the surrounding marine waters.
Abbot Point Bulk Coal Pty Ltd has until August 17 to contest the infringement notice in court.
Adani spokesman Ron Watson said the company strenuously denied it had breached the licence conditions.
He also questioned why Adani seemed to be the only company targeted by the department.
“North Queensland was hit by a severe tropical cyclone, one of the largest in recent history,” Mr Watson said.
“There was flood and rain from Townsville all the way down the coast, even in Brisbane and surrounds. We were able to contain the flow of sediment — contaminant — from the site into the ocean and we have scientific data to prove that.
“We strongly refute the allegations that we breached our temporary emissions licence. We’re looking at our options.”
The department did not respond to questions from the Bulletin on whether any other companies were being investigated or would be fined for discharges during the event.
A department spokesman said the company’s environmental authority and licence contained strict conditions that should have been adhered to in ensuring the environment was protected, especially during extreme weather events.
“Temporary emissions licences and environmental authorities are not taken lightly by the department and there can be harsh penalties for companies that breach their approval,” the spokesman said.
“The stormwater release that is the subject of the ( licence) did not enter the adjacent Caley Valley wetlands. EHP’s investigations into releases into the wetlands is ongoing.”