EPA announces new restrictions on Clarence Colliery

EPA and mine staff inspect a spill of coal waste and water from the Clarence Colliery coal mine into the Wollangambe River, near Lithgow, in 2015. Photo: Wolter Peeters

EPA and mine staff inspect a spill of coal waste and water from the Clarence Colliery coal mine into the Wollangambe River, near Lithgow, in 2015. Photo: Wolter Peeters

New limits have been set on the Clarence Colliery near Lithgow to improve water quality in the Wollangambe River. 

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has announced it will impose a legally binding Pollution Reduction Program on the environment protection licence for the Clarence Colliery.

The Pollution Reduction Program, which has been developed over the past year, sets stringent new limits for Clarence Colliery on 13 metals, including zinc and nickel.

Setting the limits to the national standards was recommended by the Office of Environment and Heritage following a comprehensive report prepared for the EPA on the condition of the Wollangambe River.

EPA Regional Director for South and West Gary Whytcross said the revised licence was a major step forward in improving the River’s health. 

“We have worked closely with local community groups, researchers and other agencies to bring about these important changes that will help protect the Wollangambe River for future generations,” Mr Whytcross said.

The EPA will also be issuing Clarence Colliery with another legally-binding Pollution Reduction Program in the coming months that will focus on reducing the salinity levels discharged into the river, Mr Whytcross said. The EPA has advised the company that it must keep salinity below 100 EC (electrical conductivity).

In May 2016, the EPA commenced a prosecution in the Land and Environment Court against Clarence Colliery, alleging a Tier 1 offence relating to the discharge of coal fines from the Clarence Colliery in 2015. The case is next due in court from May 8-10, 2016.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop