EPA fine for coal fly ash incident shows hidden cost of coal

MEDIA RELEASE – 6 February 2017

NSW Greens energy spokesperson said the EPA’s fine of Origin Energy for allowing fly ash to blow of their site demonstrates the significant environmental, health and economic costs of coal-fired power stations.

The EPA today announced they had fined Origin Energy $15,000 for allowing fly ash produced and stored at Eraring Power Station to blow off-site during strong winds on 27 September 2016.

“Coal-fired power stations are old and dirty technology that adversely impact on people’s health and the environment and are the number one cause of climate change,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“Premier Gladys Berejiklian should acknowledge that coal-fired power has a limited future and that her government must plan for a swift transition to renewable energy.

“As NSW’s aging coal-fired power stations begin to close, the liability for rehabilitation of highly polluted sites should not be borne by the NSW taxpayers.

“For anyone who thinks that coal is a cheap fuel source, this incident highlights the hidden costs associated with this ancient technology.  NSW can do better.

“Malcolm Turnbull’s plan to build new super critical coal-fired power stations is super stupid in an age of climate change and when we know the health and environmental risks of burning coal.”

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