Fine issued for emissions from power station
Electricity generator AGL Macquarie Pty Limited has been fined after Liddell Power Station in the Hunter Valley allegedly exceeded its permitted air emissions.
The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) fined the company after solid particle monitoring detected emissions were released when they should have been trapped by specialised equipment.
EPA Director Regulatory Operations David Gathercole said AGL Macquarie notified the EPA that stack testing earlier this year found it had exceeded its solid particles concentration limit.
“Managing emissions from large operations such as Liddell Power Station is a key issue of concern to the community and to the EPA. Any non-compliance is a serious matter,” Mr Gathercole said.
The exceedances were allegedly caused by a small number of failures of bags in the baghouse, which are designed to filter out very small solid particles. These failures were not detected by the continuous monitoring system.
The EPA has issued AGL with a $15,000 Penalty Notice for allegedly contravening its Environment Protection Licence under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997.
The fine amount is the largest that the EPA can issue under its legislation.
“These were the second exceedances in the current reporting period, but AGL Macquarie has implemented a number of actions aimed at ensuring future emissions are within licence limits,” Mr Gathercole said.
“The bags that failed have been replaced and AGL Macquarie AGLM is working with its filter bag supplier to identify any further opportunities to help maintain bag integrity.”
The EPA is continuing to regulate all power stations to ensure their emissions are minimised.
People can report concerns regarding air pollution to the EPA on 131 555. All complaints made to the Environment Line are being directed to the EPA officers in the field so they can target those areas of most concern to the community.
For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy at www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm