Abbot Point water sampling results received

Issued: 13 February

The Department of Environment and Science (DES) today (13 February) received results from water testing the department undertook at the Abbot Point coal terminal on 8 February.

The results indicate the total suspended solids (TSS) in the sample, taken from a release point that flows to the adjacent Caley Valley Wetland, to be 33 mg/L.

The coal terminal operators’ environmental authority imposes a maximum limit of 30 mg/L for TSS in water released from this point.

The release occurred during the recent weather event in north Queensland.

The terminal’s operators undertook their own sampling at this release point on 7 February and have advised DES that TSS in the sample at that time were 58 mg/L.

The difference in sampling results may be caused by the time between testing on 7 February (by the company) and 8 February (by DES).

No temporary emissions licence has been issued in relation to this release event.

A copy of the results from DES’s sampling has been provided to the coal terminal operators – Abbot Point Bulk Coal Pty Ltd.

An investigation into the alleged non-compliance has commenced in accordance with the department’s standard procedures.

DES will now issue the coal terminal operator with a show cause letter inviting the company to make representations as to why enforcement action should not be taken.