Snowy Hydro issued with clean up notice for contaminated soil

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has issued Snowy Hydro Limited with a Clean Up Notice to reduce suspected environmental and water impacts from contaminated drill and blast spoil placed in the Kosciuszko National Park.

Snowy Hydro reported elevated levels of nitrate in surface and groundwater near spoil storage areas on the Snowy 2.0 construction site to the EPA in August.

The EPA’s Clean Up Notice requires Snowy Hydro to immediately stop adding any additional material containing high nitrate levels to spoil areas, and over the next two weeks to implement a program to pump and treat the alleged polluted water.

In addition, they must implement a hot spot identification program to identify high nitrate areas within existing spoil piles and take action to prevent any further pollution. Snowy Hydro is also required to provide the EPA with monitoring data and meet weekly to provide updates about the progress of their clean up actions.

EPA Executive Director Operations Jason Gordon said the EPA takes potential environmental contamination seriously and is investigating this incident.

“The EPA is working with Snowy Hydro to ensure that all conditions of the Clean Up Notice are complied with to ensure the environmental protection of the surrounding Kosciuszko National Park,” Mr Gordon said.

“In addition, officers are investigating to determine what has occurred at the site and the potential area affected.”

The Clean-Up Notice follows a prevention notice issued in August requiring Snowy Hydro to investigate the source and extent of contamination, assess relevant pollution controls and develop an Action Plan to address the issue.

The Clean Up Notice is available on the EPA website here.