Metropolitan Collieries licence under review

A review into the Helensburgh, Metropolitan Collieries’ Environment Protection Licence will be bought forward by two years and will include the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) considering all available options to protect the environment and community, including suspending the licence.

NSW EPA CEO, Tony Chappel said the escalation of the regulatory response follows multiple alleged non-compliances including discharges of coal material into Camp Gully Creek which runs into the Royal National Park.

“This review will commence immediately as the repeated discharges of coal material into our pristine environment is unacceptable,” Mr Chappel said.

“Yesterday, we saw another incident when EPA officers were conducting routine monitoring at Camp Gully Creek and observed grey, turbid water with possible coal material present.

“It is disappointing that we have now seen multiple incidents in a matter of months - we expect far better from our industry neighbours who have a responsibility to operate in accordance with their licence for the health of the environment and community.

“Yesterday, our officers collected further water samples for analysis which will form part of our ongoing investigation.

“Understandably, the community is rightly distressed by the impact these events are having on our environment and as part of this licence review we encourage them to have their say which we will take into consideration when assessing all of our regulatory options.”

The review will focus on implementing measures to enhance monitoring and improve environmental practices at the site including around water management and discharges.

The EPA’s investigations into discharge events in September and October, as well as yesterday’s incident, are ongoing.

More information about the licence review and about the Camp Gully Creek pollution clean-up and EPA investigation can be found here.

The Metropolitan Collieries Environment Protection Licence (number 767) can be viewed here.