EPA issues tougher licence for Metropolitan Collieries

Metropolitan Collieries has been ordered to overhaul their operations after the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) revised the mine’s licence imposing a suite of strict operating conditions. 

The licence has been scrutinised since November 2022, after being bought forward for review in response to multiple alleged non-compliances resulting in significant pollution events at Camp Gully Creek.

The tougher licence conditions will require rigorous monitoring, real-time water quality testing and a water impact discharge assessment.

NSW EPA CEO, Tony Chappel said the EPA expects Metropolitan Collieries to have strong environmental practices and operational inadequacies resulting in pollution will not be tolerated.

“The revised licence requires them to take immediate action to change their operations to reflect best practice,” Mr Chappel said.

“Pollution events by any operator, particularly those in fragile environments, put unique wildlife and habitats at risk”.

“The Royal National Park is one of Sydney’s most pristine natural environments and we are requiring the mine to take immediate actions to protect the park.

“I want to thank the community who have been vocal and provided extensive feedback during the licence review. More than 200 submissions have informed these licence changes.

“Everyone in the community will now have access to real-time water quality data, both down and upstream of Camp Gully Creek, and results from extensive water monitoring including testing for chemicals.

“As we collect more information through enhanced monitoring, we will not hesitate to make more changes to ensure the park is protected for generations to come.”

The EPA is still investigating the 2022 major incidents but has issued Metropolitan Collieries with two penalty notices, imposing fines totalling $30,000 for a separate alleged water incident in November 2022.

To view the licence variations, visit the EPA’s website.