Adani faces $2.7 mil­lion fine for emis­sions re­lease

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS -

A COM­PANY owned by Adani is fac­ing a max­i­mum $2.7 mil­lion fine.

Ab­bot Point Bulk­coal, which op­er­ates the Port of Ab­bot Point, has been charged by the De­part­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Sci­ence for con­tra­ven­ing a tem­po­rary emis­sions li­cence.

The charges re­late to an al­leged unau­tho­rised dis­charge of sed­i­ment wa­ter at the port, near Bowen, dur­ing Trop­i­cal Cy­clone Deb­bie.

“It is al­leged (Ab­bot Point Bulk­coal) dis­charged sed­i­ment wa­ter from a lo­ca­tion called W2 – that was eight times above lev­els au­tho­rised by DES in the tem­po­rary emis­sions li­cence,” a state­ment from the de­part­ment said.

Ab­bot Point Bulk­coal con­tested a $12,190 penalty in­fringe­ment no­tice in re­la­tion to the dis­charge.

“Fol­low­ing this election, DES con­ducted a for­mal in­ves­ti­ga­tion in ac­cor­dance with its usual prac­tice,” the state­ment said.

This charge was laid af­ter that in­ves­ti­ga­tion and was not re­lated to the Ca­ley Val­ley Wet­lands.

The state­ment said no known en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pacts oc­curred be­cause of the dis­charge.

In a state­ment, the Adan­iowned Ab­bot Point Bulk­coal de­nied any wrong­do­ing.

“Ab­bot Point Bulk­coal cat­e­gor­i­cally re­futes any wrong­do­ing, as we fully com­plied with the con­di­tions im­posed by the tem­po­rary emis­sions li­cence,” the state­ment read.

“Ab­bot Point Bulk­coal wel­comes the clar­i­fi­ca­tion that the Queens­land Govern­ment has ac­knowl­edged no en­vi­ron­men­tal harm was caused as a re­sult of the dis­charge and their con­fir­ma­tion this charge is not in re­la­tion to the Ca­ley Val­ley Wet­lands.”

The state­ment said the com­pany op­er­ated the port un­der the same reg­u­la­tions and en­vi­ron­men­tal gover­nance mech­a­nism all Queens­land ports were re­quired to op­er­ate un­der.

En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Leeanne Enoch said in a state­ment the de­ci­sion was “based on the best avail­able le­gal and sci­en­tific ad­vice”.

“Queens­lan­ders have an ex­pec­ta­tion that com­pa­nies are held to ac­count for their ac­tions and I’m pleased to see the de­part­ment act­ing in line with those ex­pec­ta­tions to­day,” she said.

Ms Enoch said the De­part­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Sci­ence had made the de­ci­sion based on the “best avail­able le­gal ad­vice and sci­en­tific ad­vise”.

“The Palaszczuk Govern­ment takes en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion very se­ri­ously,” she said.

“We’re do­ing the right thing, we’ve al­ways done the right thing and con­tinue to do the right thing.”

Ms Enoch de­clined to com­ment fur­ther while the mat­ter was be­fore the courts. Aus­tralian Marine Con­ser­va­tion So­ci­ety spokes­woman Imo­gen Zethoven wel­comed the charges. “It’s now time for both gov­ern­ments to go fur­ther,” she said.

“AMCS calls on the Queens­land Govern­ment to can­cel Adani’s wa­ter li­cence and to rule out ex­tin­guish­ing na­tive ti­tle for the mine. And we call on the Fed­eral Govern­ment to re­voke Adani’s fed­eral en­vi­ron­men­tal ap­proval.”

The mat­ter is listed for men­tion in Bowen Mag­is­trates Court on Oc­to­ber 23. Adani is ex­pected to de­fend the mat­ter in court.

PHOTO: AUS­TRALIAN MARINE CON­SER­VA­TION

AL­LEGED AC­TIV­ITY: Ab­bot Point Bulk­coal has been charged.

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