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Environment Protection Authority

EPA continuing investigation into incident at Clarence Colliery

Media release: 3 July 2015

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is continuing its investigations today into a serious environmental incident at the Centennial Coal, Clarence Colliery mine site near Lithgow.

EPA Director South, Gary Whytcross, said the EPA’s focus was on determining the extent of the environmental damage and getting the clean-up underway.

“This is a serious environmental incident with tonnes of coal fines material estimated to have left the site and entered the surrounding environment.

“The environmental impacts of this incident are the focus of our actions at the moment, with two EPA officers and scientists from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) on site and undertaking various sampling.

“The Wollangambe River is our greatest concern and determining the impacts to the river is a priority,” Mr Whytcross said.

The EPA has instructed Centennial Coal to erect silt fences between the mine site and the Wollangambe River to prevent further impacts.  

Clean up activities are being undertaken by Centennial Coal but are expected to take many weeks given the extent of the incident and the difficult terrain in which the material has been deposited.

“The cause of the incident is still being investigated and the EPA is continuing to collect evidence to determine potential breaches of the environmental legislation,” Mr Whytcross said.



Contact: EPA Public Affairs and Communications

Page last updated: 03 July 2015