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Environment Protection Authority

Lendlease Engineering Pty Ltd fined for iron-laden water discharge at Barangaroo

Media release: 14 June 2017

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined Lendlease Engineering Pty Ltd $15,000 after 5,000 litres of iron-laden water was discharged from a stormwater tank at Barangaroo Reserve into Nawi Cove, Sydney Harbour in May 2016.

The discharge resulted in a large orange plume being visible in Sydney Harbour near Nawi Cove, which is adjacent to Barangaroo, for several hours.

EPA Chief Environmental Regulator Mark Gifford said the discharge resulted from works on water management infrastructure at Barangaroo Reserve.

“The discharge of a large volume of highly visible foreign material into Sydney Harbour is a serious matter, which is why the fine was issued,” Mr Gifford said.

“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.

“The water that was discharged is usually used for irrigation on Headland Park or lawfully pumped to sewerage for disposal.

“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.”

Once it completed its investigation into the discharge, the EPA decided not to proceed with a penalty notice previously issued to the Barangaroo Delivery Authority for this incident.

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 http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/130251epacompl.htm.

Contact: EPA Public Affairs

Page last updated: 14 June 2017