Media Statement EPA Prosecution and OEH Prosecutions

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MEDIA STATEMENT

EPA AND OEH PROSECUTIONS 

As a result of an environmental incident at Clarence Colliery on 2nd July 2015 both the EPA and the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) commenced prosecution proceedings in the Land and Environment Court yesterday against Clarence Colliery Pty Ltd (Clarence), a subsidiary of Centennial Coal.  OEH's legal branch is acting for the EPA and OEH in the proceedings.

The incident involved the overflow of material from a holding cell in a reject emplacement area impacting the surrounding environment and coal fines also entering the Wollangambe River within the Blue Mountains National Park.

From the day of the incident, Clarence engaged a specialist team to oversee an extensive clean-up operation that has operated for the past ten months in extremely rugged terrain.    

The land based clean-up within the Colliery was completed in September last year and the area has been rehabilitated.  The clean-up in the Wollangambe River continues and is now nearing completion.  Clarence has worked closely with the EPA and OEH in undertaking the clean-up and has appreciated the oversight and cooperation of both agencies in that regard.

Clarence has fully cooperated with the EPA and OEH and other relevant agencies.  In a court document, the EPA and OEH have acknowledged that Clarence's cooperation has been "considerable and unusual".

Prior to this incident, Clarence had a clean record, with no convictions for any environmental offence.

Clarence will be entering a plea of guilty to the charges at the earliest available opportunity.  The two proceedings will be heard together.

Clarence and its parent, Centennial Coal, deeply regret the incident and apologise for its occurrence.

 

May 10, 2016

For further information contact:

Katie Brassil – Executive GM External Affairs on 0419 356 690 or katie.brassil@centennialcoal.com.au