Adani fighting fine over contaminated water leak from Abbot Point coal terminal
Indian energy giant Adani has vowed to continue to fight a $12,000 fine for alleged contamination of wetlands near its Abbot Point coal terminal in North Queensland – but risks being hit with a bigger fine if they lose.
While the appeal against the fine for breaching the conditions of a temporary emissions licence during Cyclone Debbie last year is fairly common in the resources sector, Adani has also become embroiled in claims it tampered with samples sent to the Queensland Department of Environment during the investigation last year.
This is standard procedure during cyclone events and happens at mines, ports and mineral processing facilities along the Queensland coast.
But Adani was advised on April 6 it had breached the conditions of the temporary water licence after stormwater was recorded with a dirt content eight times the approved limit, or 806mg per litre.
In a separate court action, Adani is appealing whether the Environment Department had the right to issue an environmental evaluation of water contamination in the Caley Valley wetlands.
In court documents it said the notice required "significant and expensive testing and monitoring to be carried out".
"We will continue working to ensure our environmental laws protect our communities and outstanding natural assets," she said.
There is so far no additional charge for Adani relating to alleged altering of samples sent to the department which showed contamination worse than originally thought.
An Adani spokeswoman would also not comment on the court case, but stood the information, including the samples, provided to departmental officers.
"We operate transparently at all times and in accordance with the highest standards expected by the community," the spokeswoman said.