Adani’s Abbot Point Coal gets $12k fine for stormwater release

Adani’s Abbot Point Bulk Coal has been issued a $12,190 fine for an unauthorised stormwater release from its coal handling facility during Tropical Cyclone Debbie which struck Queensland in March this year.

The Queensland department of environmental heritage protection (EHP) issued the fine for breaching conditions of a temporary emissions licence (TEL) that was given to the company on March 27, during the cyclone.

The TEL permitted an elevated suspended solid limit of 100mg per litre on stormwater releases from the terminal during the heavy rainfall associated with the cyclone.

However, the company informed the department on April 6 of a breach of the TEL conditions, as it released stormwater from the terminal containing suspended solids at 806mg per litre.

The stormwater was discharged into the surrounding marine waters.

“The company’s environmental authority and TEL contained strict conditions that should have been adhered to in ensuring the environment was protected, especially during extreme weather events,” EHP said.

“Temporary emissions licences and environmental authorities are not taken lightly by the department and there can be harsh penalties for companies that breach their approvals.”

The stormwater release, however, did not enter the adjacent Caley Valley wetlands. The department is conducting ongoing investigations into releases in the wetlands.