Latest coal disaster highlights need to ban coal mining in drinking water catchments
MEDIA RELEASE – 3 July 2015
The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham has today said that alarm bells should be ringing for the Baird Government about the dangers of allowing coal mining in Sydney’s sensitive water catchment areas, following the shocking news that at least 150 metres of the World Heritage listed E, in the Blue Mountains have been polluted by the collapse of a coal waste dump from the Clarence Colliery mine near Lithgow.
This comes after the NSW Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) recently recommended the proposed extension of the underground Springvale coal mine for approval despite serious concerns from government agencies that the expansion will affect Sydney water quality and Wollongong Coal are seeking to expand their Russell Vale mine in the catchment area for the Cataract Dam, Sydney’s third largest water storage.
“Alarm bells should be ringing in the Premier’s office this morning following this latest example of a coal mine damaging our precious water resources,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham
“We cannot continue to pretend that coal mining can coexist with drinking water catchments and it’s time for Mike Baird to show leadership and impose a ban on long-wall mining in our fragile catchment areas.
“It is clear that the coal industry simply treats our environment as their tip and sees fines from the EPA as no more than the cost of doing business.
“The Clarence Colliery is a chronic environmental offender and, if there has been another toxic spill from this coal mine threatening the World Heritage listed Wollangambe River, then the EPA needs to get serious by taking them to court where a significant fine can be imposed,” Mr Buckingham said.
Contact: Jack Gough – 9230 2202 or 0427 713 101