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In the above case, Coal and Allied Operations Pty Ltd was convicted after entering a guilty plea to an offence of polluting waters in breach of s 120 of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 and fined $45,000.00. The defendant was also ordered to place a notice in three publications detailing the circumstances of the conviction and to pay the prosecutor’s costs, agreed in the sum of $51,000.00.

The offence concerned a coal mine operated by Coal and Allied Operations Pty Ltd at Mt Thorley. Following a period of heavy rainfall, sediment laden waters discharged across the premises boundary into drainage channels which entered water known as Salt Pan Creek which lead into Newport Farm Lagoon and Wollombi Brook.

A key mitigating factor considered by the Court in sentencing the defendant was the steps taken by the defendant following the incident to improve its erosion and sediment control measures, including enlargement and maintenance of the existing sediment basins and control devices and the construction of diversionary structures.

To view the judgment click here (link is external)

MatthewsFolbigg Lawyers, Parramatta, are specialist environmental, planning and local government lawyers who are able to advise in relation to all matters relating to environmental law, planning law and local governance. Call an expert today on 1800 300 308