Wollongong Coal has been fined again for polluting a nearby waterway with runoff from its Russell Vale colliery.
The fine was levelled by the Environment Protection Authority almost ten months after the November 2016 incident.
Wollongong Coal Limited was given a fine of $15,000 after turbid (sediment-laden) water was discharged from the mine to Bellambi Gully, in contravention of its environment protection licence.
Another fine of $15,000 was also slapped on the miner for poor maintenance and operations of the Bellambi Gully diversion pipe.
After a storm, turbid water flowed through holes in the pipe which runs under the stockpile. It gathered in ponds but was washed down Bellambi Gully when the company released water from a treatment plant.
The investigation also uncovered the miner’s failure to publish water quality monitoring data from times when water was discharged into Bellambi Gully over the previous year.
For this Wollongong Coal was fined $1000.
The fines came a year after Wollongong Coal was given a penalty of $30,000 for discharging coal fines (dust) into Bellambi Gully in 2015.
EPA regional operations manager Peter Bloem said the authority found out about the polluiton incident after it was reported by a local resident.
“In this case the company’s environmental performance has not met the expectations of the EPA nor the community,” said.
“The onus is on Wollongong Coal to demonstrate to the EPA and the local community that they have taken and continue to undertake all practical measures to prevent water pollution.”