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Environment Protection Authority

Barangaroo Delivery Authority fined for iron-laden water discharge

Media release: 18 October 2016

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined Barangaroo Delivery Authority $15,000 after iron-laden water was wrongly discharged from a stormwater tank into Nawi Cove, Sydney Harbour in May.

The discharge resulted in a large orange plume being visible in Nawi Cove, the largest cove at Barangaroo, for several hours. EPA Director Metropolitan Region Giselle Howard said the discharge was the result of maintenance works undertaken on water management infrastructure at Headland Park.

“The orange plume was the result of naturally-occurring iron precipitate in groundwater, and did not pose a significant risk to human health or the environment,” Ms Howard said.

“However, the discharge of a large amount of highly visible foreign material into Sydney Harbour is a serious matter, which is why the fine was issued.

“The Barangaroo Delivery Authority reported the incident to the EPA immediately and, while the risks were low, our officers attended to ensure appropriate management of the incident.”

On 13 May approximately 5,000 litres of water was discharged from a stormwater tank into Nawi Cove, after a subcontractor emptied the tank to replace an internal pump.

The groundwater is usually used for irrigation on the parkland or pumped through to sewerage.

Penalty notices are one of a number of tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance. The EPA takes in a range of factors into account before delivering a proportionate regulatory response, including the degree of environmental harm, potential health impacts, compliance history, public interest and best environmental outcomes.

For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy

Contact: EPA Public Affairs

Page last updated: 18 October 2016