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Whitehaven Coal fined $30,000 for water contamination at Tarrawonga mine near Boggabri

Whitehaven Coal has been hit with $30,000 in fines for two pollution incidents at their Tarrawonga mine near Boggabri, North West NSW.

The NSW Environmental Protection Authority today announced the two $15,000 fines for alleged pollution of waters and failing to operate plant and equipment in a proper and efficient manner in February 2020.

The mine allegedly discharged mine sediment from a dam after heavy rain in excess of their discharge limits and also allegedly failed to dewater a sediment pond within the required time frame.

The dam in questions discharges into the nearby Goonbri Creek.

When the mine approval was updated in 2013 an anonymous submission to the NSW Planning Department objected to the project citing possible contamination of Goonbri Creek.

"Goonbri Creek is a major component of the groundwater recharge for the area of Barbers Lagoon and the township of Boggabri," The submission said, "Goonbri Creek, which is a 4th order stream in good to excellent condition, will turn from a natural asset into a drain."

Whitehaven Coal was hit with $17 million in fines for 16 breaches at their Maules Creek mine near, Boggabri on the 11th of August, 2020 and will face court at the end of this week.

Whitehaven Coal has been contacted for comment on their most recent fine.


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