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Adani may face hefty fine in Oz.

A DANI Australia could face a multimillion dollar penalty for possible environmental violations caused by releasing contaminated floodwaters from its Queensland coal port in the aftermath of Cyclone Debbie that wreaked havoc in the country.

The Queensland government said it was investigating the breach. It is considering slapping a compliance action on the Indian mining giant over the water released from its Abbot Point facility containing more than eight times the permissible limit of sediment Adani Abbot Point Bulkcoal was authorised to release water from March 27 to March 30 to assist with site water management during and after Cyclone Debbie, director general of environment and heritage protection ( EHP), Jim Reeves, said.

He said non- compliance of environmental norms that harmed the surroundings could attract fines of up to AUD2.7 million- AUD3.8 million, depending on whether the breach was wilful or unintentional.

Meanwhile, Adani Australia refuted the claims that its

Abbot Point coal handling facility discharged contaminated water in the wake of Cyclone Debbie.

" The results of the test are not expected until next week, three weeks after the samples were taken. However, DEHP officers have confirmed to Abbot Point management that there was no evidence of environmental harm post Cyclone Debbie," it noted.

The EHP said it would consider compliance action against Adani in respect of water released under a temporary emissions licence after a full report on its investigations which will provide the basis for decisions on what, if any, compliance action will occur. Adani Abbot Point Bulkcoal provided a report to

EHP on April 24 saying it had a water discharge on March 30 from a licensed point on the northern side of the terminal, containing 806mg/ L of sediment.

Under its environmental authority, terminal management is required to monitor all water releases and report any non- compliance to EHP. In this case, Adani Abbot Point Bulkcoal advised EHP that the non- compliant release from the licensed point on the northern side of the terminal did not enter the Caley Valley wetland, with further investigations by port management indicating that no coal- laden water entered any marine environment.

Reeves said EHP was continuing to investigate water discharges and possible environmental contamination from the Abbot Point coal handling facility.

This follows aerial imagery provided to EHP by the State Disaster Coordination Centre on April 6 that suggested there was sediment- laden water flowing from the port into the wetland.

" I want to assure all Queenslanders that as the environmental regulator, EHP takes these matters very seriously, he said. EHP will prepare a full report on its investigations which will provide the basis for decisions on what, if any, compliance action will occur, he said. Cyclone Debbie struck the northeastern Australian coastline on March 28, forcing tens of thousands to flee and leaving at least 48,000 homes without power.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:May 5, 2017
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