Adani pays fine for environmental breach

ADANI has paid off a fine for breaching its environmental licence at the Abbot Point coal terminal during the February flood catastrophe.

The mining giant was fined $13,055 by the Department of Environment and Science in late March after Adani released water containing nearly double the amount of contaminants allowed from Abbot Point into the Caley Valley Wetlands.

Adani is allowed to release contaminated water that contains a maximum of 30mg/L of "total suspended solids", which includes coal sediment.

A spokeswoman for Abbot Point Operations said a sample taken on the day the water was released, analysed by an accredited third-party, confirmed it contained 58mg/L of total suspended solids.

A government environment official took a sample the next which returned a result of 33mg/L.

A spokeswoman for Abbot Point Operations confirmed on Thursday afternoon that the company had paid the penalty.

"While the release only exceeded authorised levels by a small amount, we recognise that an exceedence occurred, and that's why we have accepted the Infringement Notice," she said.

"The flood water that did enter the Caley Valley Wetlands was released via an authorised release point.

"Numerous inspections have been undertaken of the Caley Valley Wetlands since the unprecedented weather in February, confirming the Wetlands are thriving."

The company has said there was "no environmental harm" to the Caley Valley Wetlands, that no floodwater entered the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, and that elevation of contaminant levels was a "fraction of the levels usually found in flood events".

Adani had until April 21, Sunday, to either pay the fine or lodge an appeal.

This is the second time Adani has been fined for breaching its environmental licence.

It is still fighting a prosecution by the DES in relation to its 2017 release of contaminated water from Abbot Point during Cyclone Debbie.

That water was found to contain eight time the authorised concentration of suspended solids.



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