AGL Macquarie fined $15,000 for incident at Bayswater Power Station

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined AGL Macquarie Pty Limited $15,000 for an alleged breach of its environment protection licence at the Bayswater Power Station near Muswellbrook NSW.

It is alleged that in February 2019, a discharge of slurry from the power station’s lime softening plant entered a tributary of Wisemans Creek, resulting in water pollution that made its way to a nearby River Red Gum Endangered Ecological Community.

NSW EPA Regional Director North Adam Gilligan said the EPA treats water pollution breaches at licensed premises seriously.

“In response to a self-report from AGL Macquarie the EPA inspected the plant and saw that slurry material travelled approximately 500m, reaching the creek and the river red gum community.

“AGL had already started a clean-up of the affected area and additional containment measures were put in place. The discharged slurry material has been removed and the site has been remediated in consultation with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (formerly the Office of Environment and Heritage),” Mr Gilligan said.

AGL has implemented controls to improve environmental performance and prevent further compliance issues.

Penalty notices are some of the tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance, which can also include formal warnings, notices and directions, enforceable undertakings, legally binding pollution reduction programs, mandatory audits and prosecutions.

The maximum penalty for not complying with a condition of an environment protection licence or a clean-up notice is a court imposed fine of $1 million for a corporation and $120,000 each day the offence continues.

For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm.