BAIRD GOVT MUST ACT ON WATER POLLUTION AT SPRINGVALE MINE

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Environment Minister Mark Speakman must ensure that the licence for the Springvale mine near Lithgow includes a detailed plan to cut salinity levels of waste water.

The NSW Opposition is calling on Minister Speakman to ensure that a deadline is in place to reduce waste water salinity and prevent any further contamination of Sydney’s water supply or harm to the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.

There must be a detailed timetable to reduce salinity levels in Springvale’s waste water to the ANZECC guideline of 350 EC.

The Environment Protection Authority is reportedly allowing the mine to continue to discharge water with a maximum salinity level of 1200 EC – almost three and a half times ANZECC guideline levels.

The mine has been the source of other pollutants in the area and the NSW Opposition wants safeguards put in place to protect the environment and Sydney’s water supply.  

Quotes attributable to Adam Searle

“The Environmental Protection Authority is failing in its duty to enforce these guidelines. It cannot stand by and allow these levels of pollution to continue. The Authority needs to put in place a clear deadline to reduce waste water salinity.

“At the moment there is no deadline and the Government has a duty to the local community to enforce it. Anything less is not good enough.”

Quotes attributable to Penny Sharpe

“The Environmental Protection Authority should insist that waste water management at Springvale meets best practice. At the moment it says that it is doing its best to enforce these guidelines but that is not good enough.

“In the coming weeks the Planning Assessment Commission will decide whether to grant an extension of operator Centennial Coal’s operation at Springvale – presenting the perfect opportunity for the Government to put in place some rigorous deadlines to reduce salinity levels.”