NSW EPA takes Wambo coal mine to court over botched blast

The NSW Environment Protection Authority has taken Peabody’s Wambo coal mine to court over a mine blast that allegedly affected nearby residents last year.

The EPA has commenced prosecution in the Land and Environment Court over the incident which occurred on 14 May 2014.

In the prosecution, the EPA alleges that a cloud of odorous fumes associated with the blast was emitted from Wambo’s premises, impacting on nearby residents in Jerry’s Plains.

“Almost immediately following the blast the EPA received reports from the community concerning the blast,” the EPA said in a statement.

“In response to the incident the EPA commenced an investigation and requested an immediate report from the mining company as well as video footage of the blast. “

This is the second prosecution of Wambo for offensive odours resulting from mine blasting.  The company was previously convicted, fined $13,000 and ordered to pay costs of $24,000 by Singleton Local Court in relation to a blast incident that resulted in offensive odour impacting nearby residents in July 2012.

At the time of the May 2014 blast, a spokesperson for Peabody told Australian Mining "the blast was observed to generate higher than usual levels of blast fume.  Peabody Energy responded promptly to community enquiries regarding the blast and self-reported the incident to the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and other NSW regulatory bodies in accordance with the Protection of Environment Operations Act 1997".  

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