EPA investigating blast fume at Whitehaven’s Maules Coal Creek Mine

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is undertaking an investigation after a blast fume incident occurred on Thursday 2 July 2015 at Whitehaven’s Maules Creek Coal Mine located south-east of Narrabri.

EPA Director North, Gary Davey, said the EPA was notified about the blast fume through reports from local landholders.

“The EPA is undertaking an investigation into the incident, including analysing video footage taken by the mine operator of the fume event.

“The EPA understands that the blast resulted in a fume event that travelled over land owned by Whitehaven mine. At this point, the EPA has no evidence there was any environmental harm, however this will be part of the investigation,” said Mr Davey.

Blast fumes occur when small variations in blast conditions, blasting products and geological factors combine to cause incomplete combustion and produce gases including nitrogen oxides which often have a distinctive orange colour.