NSW Environment Protection Authority issues $15,000 fine after water discharged from Malabar Coal Mine into Saltwater Creek

THE NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has slapped a firm with a fine after overflow, from a dam at an Upper Hunter mine, reached a nearby waterway.

Maxwell Ventures (Management) Pty Ltd was hit with a $15,000 penalty when it was discovered that water discharged from Malabar Coal Mine reached Saltwater Creek.

“An estimated 6 megalitres of mine water with high levels of salt and sulphate entered the creek after too much mine water was allegedly transferred to the dam resulting in the overflow,” EPA director Hunter Karen Marler said.

“Maxwell Ventures has been fined for discharging the water and received an official caution for polluting the creek.

“Fortunately, on this occasion there is no evidence of harm to the creek environment.”

Maxwell Ventures indicated it had made procedural changes to operations to ensure further incidents such as this did not occur in the future.

Penalty notices are one of several tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance including formal warnings, official cautions, licence conditions, notices and directions and prosecutions.

For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy at www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm