The Environment Protection Authority has sent mine owner Peabody the bill for recent testing and clean-up assessment caused by one of last year's wet weather spills at the Metropolitan Colliery.
It's the latest in a series of regulatory interventions by the agency after sludge and coal fines have been washed into Camp Gully Creek adjacent to the mine.
The incident in question came a month after Peabody was fined $15,000 for creek pollution caused by a clocked drain, and a month before the EPA said it was considering prosecuting the miner over the spills.
Camp Gully Creek runs into the Hacking River in the Royal National Park, and Peabody has been fined and penalised over runoff pollution multiple times in the past two years.
In the action involving the bill for expenses, the EPA visited the mine on September 8 last year after discharges from the mine's spillway into the creek.
Coal fines were noticed in the creek bed and bank at least 50m downstream from Peabody's licensed discharge point, the Turkeys Nest Dam spillway.
A clean-up notice was given to the colliery a week later, followed by another soon afterwards.
Peabody said since the incidents it had cleaned out dams and drains to allow stormwater to be better captured.
"The focus of the [clean-up] was coal material beneath the water line, on the bed, and within the banks of the creek and the impacted areas of the Hacking River," the EPA's latest notice states.
Its officers undertook several inspections between September 19 and November 14, 2022, to assess the impact of the spill and ensure the mine owner was responding correctly.
It then undertook water sampling and testing in the creek and was charged almost $10,000 by the NSW government for analysis on the samples.
Metropolitan Collieries has been charged $15,908 for the combined costs of EPA staff involvement, and water testing and analysis.
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