A video showing Bellambi Creek running black with storm run-off from the Russell Vale coal mine above has taken off online, being watched more than 150,000 times.
The video features Illawarra Residents for Responsible Mining’s Kaye Osborn drawing water from the creek last Sunday, the water completely black from coal dust.
It then flows to the sea, and Ms Osborn demands action be taken by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).
“Every time there’s a serious amount of rain the creek runs black like this,” she said.
“But the EPA does not act on it.
“The EPA needs to implement and enforce penalties when Wollongong Coal’s Russell Vale colliery pollutes this and other creeks in the area with coal fines.”
EPA Illawarra manager Peter Bloem told the Mercury EPA staff visited the mine before and after the storm to check on stormwater systems.
But they were unable to contain the runoff in the huge wet. He said investigations will continue to see what went wrong.
“There certainly is a history of concern with the stormwater (runoff) from the mine,” Mr Bloem said.
“Clearly further work needs to be done to improve that.”