Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Werris Creek discharge meets environmental requirements

Media release: 14 July 2016

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded its investigations into discharges from the Werris Creek Mine.

Lindsay Fulloon, EPA Manager Operations Armidale said the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) requested a report from the Werris Creek Mine after being alerted to the water discharge on the 30 June by a local resident

“The EPA received the report from the mine late last week about a controlled water discharge that took place from 23 June to the 1 July 2016,” Mr Fulloon said.

“The report highlighted that testing undertaken by the mine before the discharge occurred complied with the water quality limits set in the mine’s EPL.

“This is consistent with the EPA’s observations during the inspection, which confirmed that good quality water had been discharged from the mines sediment basin.

“The EPA has concluded that this was a lawful discharge by the mine but recognises that adjacent landholders have a reasonable expectation that they should be advised prior to controlled discharges occurring.

“The EPA has raised those expectations with the mine,” he said.

Werris Creek Mine holds an Environment Protection Licence (EPL) which allows the discharge of stormwater from the site under two different scenarios.  The first is when the water to be discharged has been tested to demonstrate that the water quality limits listed in the EPL have been met.

The second is when rainfall received on site within the preceding 5 day period exceeds the design capacity of the holding ponds.  In this case, the mine must be able to demonstrate that it has been actively managing the water stored within its sedimentation ponds in the lead up to the rainfall event, ensuring that it has done all it can to maintain the required design capacity.

The discharge followed significant rain fall prior to and during 23 June to the 1 July 2016.  During this period the mine was able to test and confirm that the water complied with the water quality limits within its EPL before releasing it in a controlled manner.

The EPA is satisfied that the discharge met the requirements of the conditions of the mine’s EPL which is designed to protect the environment.

END

Contact: EPA Public Affairs Officer

Page last updated: 14 July 2016